Only when we are made aware of our own weaknesses and limitations will we be in a position where slights and insults won’t bother us. Harry Ironside was a famous preacher known for his verse-by-verse preaching, photographic memory, enthusiasm, and writings. (He wrote over 80 books and pamphlets in his lifetime.) For over 50 years, he preached all around the world. He also served as the senior pastor of Moody Church in Chicago for 18 years. During his ministry, he preached to over 1 million people. That’s not too bad for someone who never went to school past the eighth grade.
For all of Harry Ironside’s great ability, he still had his critics. Once a man came up to him and told him, “You don’t preach very well.”
Ironside didn’t get flustered. He didn’t lash out and try to put the man in his place. Instead, he simply replied, “You and I agree on that.” His response proved his character. He wasn’t so consumed with his success that he overlooked his flaws. He realized he had come a long way and still had a long way to grow. This is true humility.
We have all come a long way; we all have a long way to grow. This should keep us from judging others who may be behind us in a certain area (because they may be ahead of us in another area); it should make us humble enough to accept criticism; and it should keep us from being critical of others’ shortcomings.
Do you want God to use you in more ways than you can imagine? Then humble yourself enough to remember where He has brought you. Look back on all of His blessings; think about the times when He led you through great hardships; remind yourself of who you were before you were saved — and don’t forget these things. God has brought you a long way. Trust Him to help you grow the rest of the way.
Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder