"Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for 'God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble' ". (1 Peter 5:5)
"Clothe yourselves...with humility…” Here we are commanded to wear what I call the “apron of humility”. Right now, aprons that make a statement are in vogue. Some of you with preschoolers might, at times, be tempted to wear an apron that says, “Who are these kids and why are they calling me Mom?” For the woman experiencing PMS or hot flashes, “Warning! I have an attitude and I know how to use it!” An apron for the wife whose husband expects to be treated like royalty may read, “If you want breakfast in bed, sleep in the kitchen!” Finally the apron that I have decided to order, “I’m not aging, I’m marinating.”
I call these “oxymoron aprons” because they communicate a message that is really contradictory to the true idea that an apron conveys. What a beautiful word picture the "apron of humility" depicts. What does an apron say to you? To me it says, “I’m ready to serve.” An apron presupposes humility. Jesus put on an apron to wash the disciple’s feet.
I'd like to explore this idea a little further. This is The Good Woman blog. The "good woman out of the treasure of her heart, brings forth what is good." In other words, she is full of love and good deeds. And it is true that "love" (eminent love for Christ) always serves up her good deeds wearing the apron of humility. You will never see her without it on, otherwise it is not love that is serving. It is an impostor cloaked in the facade of love. Only love possesses this apron and knows how to put it on and use it.
In the kitchen an apron is worn for protection from spatters of hot food. Since love always serves with humility, when we make love for God our true motivation, we will be protected from pride. Any other motive will always begin and end with pride.
And as other aprons make a statement so does the apron of humility. First I’ll tell you what it does not say. It does not say, “This is the apron of humility.” If you could literally see it, it would read, “Christ, in love, wore this first – for me.” Then you realize, “I am not worthy to wear this apron.” Do we really understand what a royal privilege it is to humbly serve the King of Kings with our good deeds – to really love, wearing the apron of humility?
John the Baptist understood, “It is He who comes after me, the thong of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.” We are not worthy to wear the apron of humility, but God allows us to serve up our good deeds with it on. Remember, though, no motive but love can wear the apron of humility. Love must be our eminent motive for “Even if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:3)
Are you willing to wear the apron of humility? It really should be one of the most important garments in your spiritual wardrobe. Try it on for size by memorizing and practicing 1 Peter 5:5, the Word-in-My-Heart-Wednesday's verse for the next two weeks!
Note: The photo above is of Jann (left) and Marilyn wearing their "aprons of humility". They, along with 13 others, served the guests at my daughter's wedding with such love that we just can't stop talking about it.