Opinion: We should all adopt more humility

PUBLISHED: 08:30 04 May 2019

Ilford Salvation Army Caption Dr John Clifton wants all to adopt more humility.

Ilford Salvation Army Caption Dr John Clifton wants all to adopt more humility.

Archant/Catherine Davison

At The Salvation Army in Ilford we have recently begun a new series during our Sunday morning meetings focussing on writings called ‘Helps to Holiness’ by a legendary Salvation Army Officer called Samuel Logan Brengle (1860-1936).

Brengle was an American, and came to London to train as a Salvation Army Officer with the founder William Booth.

Booth was sceptical about Brengle, thinking him to be dangerous because of his lofty education and lack of discipline which might upset the progress The Army was making.

One of the first duties Brengle had was to shine the shoes of his fellow trainee-officers.

At first, young Samuel was really offended at this idea.

He had been his own boss and did not expect to do such things.

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As he resigned himself to the task, he came to realise that this is exactly the work that Jesus Christ did.

In the 13th Chapter of John's Gospel, we are told of Jesus washing the dirty, dusty feet of his disciples, saying “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”

As Brengle polished those boots, he found himself adopting more and more the posture of Jesus Christ.

Brengle later wrote: “It was the best training I could have had. I was practicing humility.”

I wonder what it would mean for you and me to adopt the same posture?

How might we practice humility?

It is a rare trait in the world today but one that we greatly need.

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