Ruth 2:13 “May I continue to find favor in your eyes, my lord,” she said. “You have given me comfort and have spoken kindly to your servant – though I do not have the standing of one of your servant girls.”
Ruth was beautiful. She was kind, loyal, and hardworking. But do you know what her most attractive quality was? Her humility! She gave freely of herself, and expected nothing in return.
Oh, that I could be like Ruth! There truly is a little Pharisee in each of us, wanting to rise up and be noticed for our good deeds! (www.jesusplusnothing.com) We want to be thought of as important, as special, as intelligent and beautiful and worthy. But Ruth was truly surprised when this important man showed her even a little kindness. She didn’t expect attention or kindness, which made Boaz want to show her even more attention and kindness.
Maybe we can blame our “me-centered” culture. Perhaps we can blame our old sin nature. But whatever the reason, there are very few of us that are truly humble. We give, expecting. We work hard, wanting to be noticed, wanting to be promoted. We are kind, but only as long as we are shown kindness. We don’t want others to look down on us. We try to hide the fact that we look down on others.
But God has called us to a lifestyle that is both radical and uncomfortable at times. He wants us to – get this – He wants us to consider others as better than ourselves. He wants us to “do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves,” (Phil. 2:3). Can you believe that? This kind of humility is so foreign to our way of thinking, it is almost like reading another language. Yet, the rewards of this kind of lifestyle are great.
Ruth’s attitude sealed the deal for Boaz. He was taken with this humble little Moabitess who treated him with such respect and honor, and because of this, he would eventually marry her and put her in a place of great honor. In the same way, our Lord and Master is quite pleased when he sees one of His children treating His other children with respect and honor, putting themselves in the shadows so that others can shine. God is pleased with humility.
Matthew 23:12 “For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”
Dear Father, I want to humble myself. Please teach me to put others before myself.