True humility is standing at your full height before something greater than you…
Just do an internet search and you’ll find posts like, “50 ways to be humble,” or “7 ways to tell if you’re humble.” Is Humility really something we manufacture through practice? Perhaps, but if so we’d have to practice it until it seeps deep into our character. It’s certainly not about fake-it-until-you-make-it.
Most of us struggle with the concept of Humility, but I think what we’re really afraid of is humiliation. There’s a big difference.
First off, we don’t have to search very hard to find humility. Just find someone who’s better at something than you are. Look at this great nation we have. We’re proud to be Americans, but we didn’t build this place, we inherited it. Brave men and women have fought and died to give us this peak from which to leap. It is ours to screw up and that should be humbling.
So often our response when comparing ourselves to others is pettiness and jealousy. We wish we were them, accept life is a package deal and we seldom wish we had the parts of their lives that come along with their greatness. So how do we respond with humility instead of envy? The answer is deceptively simple.
Being humble hearted is part of God’s Character. Galatians 5:22 lists “…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…” which paints a pretty awesome picture of God’s character. Given his power and worthiness, God is very humble. Look at how Jesus lived.
The neat thing here is that any characteristic of God is ours in Christ. When we delight ourselves in God we can reflect his character. What will happen when we do?
If Pride blinds us then humility brings clarity of vision.
There’s a connection between humility and simplicity. Perhaps that’s why so many religious groups, Quakers/Amish etc. I think that’s part of where humility brings clarity. When we’re humbled, it strips away things we think are urgent and leaves what’s important to our hearts.
I found 32 verses that seem to speak to humility, here’s a sample.
Eph 4:2, Phil 2:3, Prov 2:11, Rom 12:16, James 4:10, 1 Peter 3:3-4, Col 3:12, 2 Chron 7:14, Matt 11:29-30,
The key one seems to be Matt 11:29-30:
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Why, because we simply can’t do real life without God’s help. Without humility, we can’t see the places where God is trying to partner with us. We keep asking God to get us out of circumstances when He wants to be with us through them. It should be humbling to think how much God wants to grow your relationship intimacy. If you want to get into your Promised Land you need to head into places you can’t go without Him.
The other power of humility is the power to fail. If your focus is to protect your pride then you don’t risk. If you don’t risk you don’t grow. Everything you learned you learned through trial and error. Stop making errors, stop learning.
This is why Grace is so vital. Jesus couldn’t just die once for our sins and then turn it over to us. He had to create an environment in which we could learn–be Fathered, by God.
Christians really suffer here. To understand the power of Grace. We keep asking God for an answer and then running off to do it ourselves. It doesn’t work. We need so many things, like thankfulness, BUT it all starts with humility.
PS If we don’t have Grace for ourselves then we aren’t likely to be extending it to other people. If they’ll know you are Christians by your love, then we can’t just shout at people. “I’m a Christian,” and then not extend them Grace. If there is no greater command than to love, how are we going to shine the light of God into the world without Grace?
Future Post about Humility to be included as an appendix in the Primacy of God.