In last Sunday’s sermon (a pretty good one if I may say, well worth your time – they’re not all like that!), I made mention of C S Lewis’ description of meeting a truly humble person socially. I was going on the fly and my retelling of it was vague paraphrase with some embellishment. For you interest, here are his exact words.
To even get near [humility], even for a moment, is like a drink of cold water to a man in a desert.
Do not imagine that if you meet a really humble man he will be what most people call “humble” nowadays: he will not be a sort of greasy, smarmy person, who is always telling you that, of course, he is nobody.
Probably all you will think about him is that he seemed a cheerful, intelligent chap who took a real interest in what you said to him.
If you do dislike him it will be because you feel a little envious of anyone who seems to enjoy life so easily. He will not be thinking about humility: he will not be thinking about himself at all.
—Mere Christianity, (section on “The Great Sin”)
There is good wisdom here for us all. Taking interest in others, forgetting yourself, is an important Christian virtue. Perhaps it is especially vital as we become more conscious of being a people on mission. Every time we enter a social setting, we can be there for Christ’s purposes. That means always looking out for the other and not to ourselves.