“Enter through the narrow gate;
for the gate is wide and the way is broad
that leads to destruction,
and there are many who enter through it.
For the gate is small
and the way is narrow that leads to life,
and there are few who find it.”
Matthew 7:13-14 NASB
I’ve been pondering Matthew 7 the past week and I have to say, I’m feeling very thin and vulnerable, in a good way. I’ve always put verses 13-14 in the context of eternal salvation: Jesus is the narrow gate and we enter through Him to find eternal life. While this is altogether true, this week I’ve been walking out these familiar verses in a different context: humility. Look at Matthew 7:12, immediately before the passage above:
“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” NIV
I learned the Golden Rule as a young girl, but sometimes forget if it’s actually in the Bible or simply a good quote. This week it grabbed a hold of me in a way so as to never forget that detail again.
“So then, whatever you desire that others would do to and for you, even so do also to and for them…” AMP
It sounds so easy, so cliche’ or sing-songy; you could almost smile and pass over it. But the depths of its wisdom ring eternal. To truly enter onto this field is to walk in the Kingdom of God.
How often do we really treat others like we want to be treated?
What does that even look like? To me, this week, it usually involved simple but deep decisions:
- to remain quiet instead of sharing my opinion.
- to do the overlooked or irritating chores.
- to smile.
- to believe.
- to encourage.
Simple details of the day, all of them. Yet deep workings of the Spirit when they touch a nerve of pride.
I’ve had some amazing days and some rough days as I’ve been purposefully walking this out. Some moments my pride flares up unexpectedly. Other times, grace pours over like warm oil and I easily let go and go low. In both instances the words of Matthew 7:13-14 echo through my head:
“…the gate is wide that leads to destruction… and the way is narrow that leads to life…”
When I enter the narrow gate of humility, pride, frustration, anger, and nagging questions must be left outside. In return, unexpected joy rises up to meet me, while peace and gentleness mark the way. When, however, I choose to hold onto my heavy luggage and take the wide path, my frustrations only grow. A thick, heavy darkness marks my way. The most interesting thing about these two roads: The narrow path opens into a wide place of freedom in Christ, while the wide path ends in slavery and death.
Humility carries a high price, but gives abundant life in return.
Every step offers a choice. Every choice, an opportunity. Will we fill the earth with the glory of God or our wretched pride? Choose Life. Choose Jesus. His way is perfect.