Now a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was an eloquent man, competent in the Scriptures. 25 He had been instructed in the way of the Lord. And being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue, but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. 27 And when he wished to cross to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him. When he arrived, he greatly helped those who through grace had believed, 28 for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, showing by the Scriptures that the Christ was Jesus. – Acts 18:24-28
You may remember (if you’re old enough!) a commercial for Sure® deodorant. The pitch was that if you used Sure® you would be able to remain “calm, cool, and collected” even in the most stressful situations. Today let’s talk about being “calm, cool and correctable.” If we embrace an attitude of humility and grace we will be able to receive correction in a manner that allows us to serve most effectively. In fact, a lack of humility – which would manifest itself in unwillingness to receive criticism of any kind, or presume to be above being wrong – is the single largest roadblock to God-pleasing change. A lack of humility will preempt repentance. A lack of humility (also known as pride) will lead us away from God.
Thankfully Apollos was not driven by a pride that exempted him from embracing the correction of Priscilla and Aquila. He became an even more powerful tool of God because he received their further and more accurate explanation of the way of God.
One of the key teachings this week at the PLI Leadership Essentials immersion at which Diane and I are team leaders is that humility is the foundation of any meaningful change. That is more true than you might imagine. The need for humility on the part of the one needing to change is obvious. Consider, moreover, how a humble spirit on the part of the one doing the correcting offers the space for such change to occur. In other words, not only Apollos needed to be humble in order to receive the correction of Priscilla and Aquila, their humility gave Apollos space to make that change. I believe Luke’s description of their action, explaining “the way of God more accurately,” reveals such humility on their part.
The ground is level at the foot of the cross, and we all need to be there in humble adoration and genuine love.
Here are some Bible passages that speak of humility: