The Spirit of Feet Washing; Humility

Editorial - Michael Smith

The Spirit of Feet Washing; Humility

Serving the Lord with all humility of mind…. —Acts 20:19a

I thank God for the opportunity to have known saints, pillars in the church, who set an example before me of true humility and service to the Lord. We live in a self-focused, proud generation where people’s goals and dreams are fueled by carnal ambitions. This is also prevalent in the religious world, where many ministers are proud and self-serving. It is an ugly thing to see professed ministers of the gospel striving for position and exaltation of man, jealous of the spiritual success of others.

On the other hand, there is nothing more beautiful than to see people serving the Lord with ALL humility of mind. What a blessing it is that in the Church of God there are people who follow the example of our Lord in humility. Where there is strife and contention, you will usually find a carnal, proud spirit at work. Humility is essential and is evidence for which to look when seeking for true ministers of the gospel.

This quarter, we have studied the ordinance of feet washing and the lessons that it teaches. It is a blessed experience to be in the midst of godly people who believe and practice this ordinance and who humble themselves, washing one another’s feet. The physical act of feet washing is not appealing in the flesh, but the spiritual rewards are wonderful.

In life, there will be misunderstandings and problems that arise because of differences of personality and perspective. Humility will resolve many of the problems people have with others. It takes humility to say “I was wrong,” or “I’m sorry.” Even when we are right on an issue, it is paramount to be humble in spirit. When a congregation or brethren have problems, it might be a good time to have feet washing and seek God for greater humility.

Just because someone is firm in belief does not mean there is a lack of humility. Many times people in positions of leadership are accused of pride just because of the nature of the job they fill. Let us be careful that we do not attribute pride to God’s people just because they may be visible in the work they are doing.

I remember years ago teaching a group of ministers about Christ’s example of humility and service. They were not happy with the teaching because it contradicted their desire to have their ministries elevate them above the people. This should never be the case among true men of God. Our goal and call is to have the heart and mind of a servant and to walk in humility.

Let us seek the Lord that we would obtain and manifest in every situation the spirit of humility Jesus desired when he instituted the ordinance of feet washing.

Michael W. Smith

January 2015