Methodists, Singer Tim McGraw Both Inspire with 'Be Humble and Kind' Message

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Country music star Tim Graw's latest single "Humble and Kind" is prompting Christians to revisit the same, simple heartfelt instructions shared in a 19th century Methodist magazine.
Tim McGraw‘s “Humble and Kind” won for Best Country Song at the 2017 Grammy Awards on Feb. 12, 2017, and songwriter Lori McKenna broke up at the podium in making her acceptance speech. “Humble and Kind” beat out Keith Urban‘s “Blue Ain’t Your Color,” Thomas Rhett‘s “Die a Happy Man,” Maren Morris, “My Church” and Miranda Lambert‘s “Vice” for the honor.


McGraw Humble and Kind

Country music star Tim Graw's latest single "Humble and Kind" is prompting Christians to revisit the same, simple heartfelt instructions shared in a 19th century Methodist magazine.

Written by Nashville songwriter Lori McKenna, McGraw said the song is both advice to one's children and a source for personal inspiration. In fact, one of the lines from the song is:  "Go to church 'cause your momma' says to."

James Parkinson, editor of The Primitive Methodist Magazine for 1869, wrote an article titled "Devout Contemplations" on the life and words of Jesus Christ as found in the Bible -- with very similar sentiments as McGraw's new song.

Parkinson wrote that readers should draw inspiration from the actions of Jesus, especially when he washed the feet of his disciples before the Last Supper. "This act," writes Parkinson, "should teach Christians to be... humble and kind to each other, not to disdain the meanest work if we can thereby benefit each other."

According to United Methodist Church sources, The Primitive Methodist Magazine was a monthly magazine of the Primitive Methodist Church in Britain, beginning in 1820 and spanning for more than a century. One of the more famous editors was H.B. Kendall, the writer of three histories of Primitive Methodism, a major movement in English Methodism from about 1810 until the Methodist Union in 1932.

McGraw said he recorded "Humble and Kind" after one daughter went off to college, another was getting ready to graduate, and a third was just entering high school.

"It's certainly a letter to your kids in a lot of ways," the singer said in an online interview. "But it's also something that I think about from hearing the song and recording the song. It's something you always you work on -- humility, kindness, patience," he said.

In an online interview with Taste of Country, McGraw said the song's powerful lyrics made it difficult for him to get through the entire piece. "We spent 30 minutes on it, and I cried through every take. I would try to get myself together and I'd get half-way through it and I would just start blubbering every time I would try to sing a line."

The song's lyrics are:

You know there's a light that glows by the front door
Don't forget the key's under the mat
When childhood stars shine,
Always stay humble and kind

Go to church 'cause your mamma says to
Visit grandpa every chance that you can
It won't be wasted time
Always stay humble and kind

Hold the door, say "please", say "thank you"
Don't steal, don't cheat, and don't lie
I know you got mountains to climb
But always stay humble and kind
When the dreams you're dreamin' come to you
When the work you put in is realized
Let yourself feel the pride
But always stay humble and kind

Don't expect a free ride from no one
Don't hold a grudge or a chip and here's why:
Bitterness keeps you from flyin'
Always stay humble and kind

Know the difference between sleeping with someone
And sleeping with someone you love
"I love you" ain't no pick-up line
So always stay humble and kind

Hold the door, say "please", say "thank you"
Don't steal, don't cheat, and don't lie
I know you got mountains to climb
But always stay humble and kind
When those dreams you're dreamin' come to you
When the work you put in is realized
Let yourself feel the pride
But always stay humble and kind

When it's hot, eat a root beer popsicle
Shut off the AC and roll the windows down
Let that summer sun shine
Always stay humble and kind

Don't take for granted the love this life gives you
When you get where you're going don't forget turn back around
And help the next one in line
Always stay humble and kind.

"Having daughters who are growing up and going out into the world, this song really speaks to me. I certainly think in this day and age in the world that we live in everybody can be so cynical and so snarky and a little bit mean, so I think that this song needs to be heard," said McGraw.

Oprah Winfrey liked the song so much, she contributed images from her network's groundbreaking series "BELIEF" to the making of the video that accompanies the song. The video accentuates people of all ages, genders, races and nationalities, solidifying the song's universal themes.

At the time this article was published, 37. 7 million viewers on YouTube had watched the video. And, Methodist groups continue to share it with their local online communities. 

 

Tags : life lessons, Tim McGraw, Methodists, humble, kind, #HumbleAndKind, Humble and Kind, Oprah Winfrey, belief, faith, The Primitive Methodist Magazine, unity, music videos, Country Music, faith music, touching songs