I had to laugh the day my brother spoke up in mock serious tones to give his opinion on the subject of humility. “What’s the point of being humble if you can’t boast about it?” he quipped. In our culture of independence and individualism and looking out for number one, there doesn’t seem to be much room for humility. Yet if God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble as it says in James 4:6, then genuine humility is a character quality that I definitely want to grow into. It’s a journey that I expect will last a lifetime. Genuine humility builds bridges and connects people. That’s something the world needs.
The fruit of a humble heart is pretty attractive when I think about it.
· Recognizing my weaknesses so that I can grow and change
· Having a teachable spirit
· Accepting and appreciating others without judgement
· Forgiveness freely offered and freely sought
· The ability to offer unconditional love
· Obedience and trust
· The kind of inner security that doesn’t need or seek after attention or recognition
· Placing others ahead of myself and having a desire to serve rather than be served
· Gentleness and kindness and the ability to really listen to people
True humility is not born out of a sense of inferiority or weakness. It comes out of knowing yourself to be loved absolutely, just as you are. That is a place of strength and total security when you know that the One who loves you is God Himself.
Perhaps that’s what I need to come back to when I sometimes catch myself talking too much and looking for attention, or feeling resentful of critical feedback, or passing judgement on my neighbours. God is quick to forgive and give us a fresh start whenever we acknowledge that we’ve fallen short. I love that about Him. My fresh starts always begin by asking God for a deeper revelation of His love for me. There’s no better place to begin if I want to practice humility.
Philippians 2:1-4 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. (NIV)