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August 27, 2015

Work and Humility

Brooke Pernice

Brooke Pernice

“O Lord, my heart is not lifted up,
my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things
too great and too marvelous for me.”
—Psalm 131:1, NRSV

There is a grievous sin of which ministers, theologians, and other Christian leaders are often guilty. We sometimes have a subtly pretentious or superior manner, thinking our business loftier than the vocations of those around us. Such a mindset is not only condemned by God, but it also shows our own foolishness.

Christians, particularly those in any sort of leadership, cannot afford to lose touch with reality. Knowing this, might there be a spiritual discipline to keep the Christian leader humble and service-oriented?

This summer I interned with Upper Room Ministries, a nonprofit Christian organization that offers resources and programs to help people deepen their relationship with God. Its most well-known publication is The Upper Room daily devotional guide, a bimonthly magazine that is distributed in 100 countries and 35 languages.

As part of my work as an intern, I brailled 350 letters to our blind subscribers on a manual Braille typewriter. This was a laborious process because the intense pounding can take a toll on the hands. I soon discovered I had overestimated my own skills as a Braille transcriber, both in speed and accuracy. It also became clear how quickly I grew tired in body and mind. Important as those letters are, more important is how they came to be.

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