The humble man

Perhaps humblest and most effective New England pastor of the Second Great Awakening (1797-1825) was Asahel Nettleton. He lived in East Windsor, Connecticut, but traveled all over New England and Eastern New York leading thousands of people to a saving, life-changing faith in Christ. He spent himself in service of his Lord as he devoted his life to being used by the Holy Spirit to convict men of sin and to lead men and women in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and the Hudson Valley of New York out of bondage and into freedom in Christ. He never sought fame or fortune in doing so. At his church meetings he did not aim to whip his audiences into emotional frenzies; rather, he relied on speaking the truth in love and allowing the Holy Spirit to convict hearts. He often spent time in deep prayer in a town before he preached there.

We can learn a lot from humble men in whom meekness is displayed as strength under control, with the absence of pride and self-defense, relying solely on God and being submissive to His will.

Nettleton’s former home in East Windsor, Connecticut as it stands today.

Today unvarnished humility might show itself in the irony of a man hearing accolades and kudos being bestowed at an awards ceremony, presumably for another, and then discovering with genuine surprise and chagrin that he himself is the recipient. When you find a man like that, follow him. Make him your pastor, your manager, or your Congressman.

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