‘Humble and Kind’ – A sermon song

{source}<iframe style=”float: Left; border: 1px solid #000000; background-color: #c0c0c0; padding: 2px; margin: 10px; -moz-border-radius: 3px; -khtml-border-radius: 3px; -webkit-border-radius: 3px; border-radius: 3px;” width=”400″ height=”225″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/awzNHuGqoMc?Rel=0″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>{/source}I watched the American Country Music awards Sunday night and I’m glad I did. Tim McGraw performed a song titled “Humble and Kind. I hope you enjoy watching the video because it is a powerful song. I don’t typically listen to country music so Sunday night’s performance was the first time I heard the song. It was obvious the crowd was moved, and the next day the performance was mentioned on several talk shows.

I was curious about the background of the song, so I googled the songwriter, Lori McKenna. In an interview with Taste of Country Lori spoke about her inspiration for the song, saying: “I think initially it honestly came from a kind of frustration in the way that you see people sometimes not be humble or not be kind. I remember having a conversation about it, thinking, ‘Have we been careful to raise our kids . . . our kids would never say that. Our kids wouldn’t do that, would they? Have we been really careful enough to make sure that they know everything we want them to know?'”

The first song Lori ever wrote and sold was sung by Faith Hill, Tim McGraw’s wife. When Lori finished this song she sent it to the McGraws first. Lori spoke about the way that Tim interpreted the song and then sang it in his own fashion. She felt that he had made the lyrics come to life. Tim said that he sang the song thinking about his own girls, and therefore sang from his heart.

I don’t really know about the McGraw’s or Lori McKenna’s relationships with the Lord. The video is composed of pictures of people from all around the world. Some will believe it is a message of universalism, but I see it as a universal message. I see the heart of God in the lyrics. That is why I decided to write this blog post. The song is having a powerful impact on people because the message is universally true. A country music song is preaching God’s heart and people are listening. The only problem is that the song doesn’t point people to God. The lyrics encourage humility and kindness and that is a wonderful lesson. But, humility and kindness can be the way people choose to act or they can be qualities of who a person has become.

The first sermon of Christ recorded in Scripture is the Sermon on the Mount. Surrounded by people who would become his first followers, Jesus revealed what would be necessary if a person wanted to live with the character God can bless. The Beatitudes describe the person that God is able to bless. Jesus began each Beatitude saying: “Blessed are.” That phrase means, “Oh how great is the blessedness of” the peacemaker, the pure in heart, the meek, etc. The blessing is not something to be expected, it is the present result of what already exists. In other words, our blessedness isn’t something we choose to work toward; it is the realization of what we already own. We own the Holy Spirit of God, the character of Christ, and the blessings that result from walking in that relationship. Every time the Holy Spirit is allowed to make himself known through us, accomplish his redemptive or sanctifying work in our lives, we are blessed.

Humility and kindness are not Christian actions. Those qualities belong to our Christian character. We don’t need to “act” humble and kind unless we are functioning in our human nature. Humility and kindness are a natural quality of who Christ has recreated us to be. The choice for us is whether or not we will live according to our human nature or whether we will simply be the people who reveal the character of Christ that is within us through his Holy Spirit.

When Jesus had finished teaching the Beatitudes, he told those listening, “You are the salt of the world” and “You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5: 13–16). God didn’t say he wanted us to “act like” those things, he said that we are salt and light.

Tim McGraw sang about the importance of humility and kindness. The power of the song is that he sang those lyrics with humility and kindness. Our message will be powerful as well, if we live as examples of our own words.  Jesus told his disciples they would receive power and “become” his witnesses (Acts 1:8). All Christians have become witnesses to Christ, because we have received his character through the Holy Spirit. We are the salt and the light in our world every time Christ is at work through our lives.

Let’s not try to “act” like Christians. Instead, let’s allow ourselves to live as the people our salvation has enabled us to “become.”  Humility and kindness are just two of the qualities people should be able to see in us, because they are just two of the qualities of Christ. Our job is to allow the love and character that Jesus gave us to be revealed in our love and character to others. As the song says:

“Don’t take for granted the love this life gives you
When you get where you’re goin’
Don’t forget turn back around
And help the next one in line
Always stay humble and kind.”

Join us at www.christianparenting.org and chime in on this week’s discussion question: How do you encourage your child(ren)’s spiritual growth?