True humility is not commonly seen in our Western society. As a missionary, we work in other countries and cultures worldwide where we find that humility can be culturally ingrained; sadly, however, we also find humility can be demanded with threat of punishment. It seems this character trait taught in the Bible might be either lacking in the lives of people or misunderstood by other cultures. Humility and meekness have become rare character qualities—even among Christians, especially in our society.
Promotion comes from God, whether it be on the job, in ministry, or just in everyday life. Humility, on the other hand, is reducing oneself to lower circumstances and allowing God to exalt or promote in His time, in His way, and for His glory. Humility presents itself as behaving in an unassuming manner devoid of all haughtiness. And, humility accepts less even when more is deserved.
Consider some definitions of the word “humble”:
- Marked by meekness or modesty in behavior, attitude, or spirit; not arrogant or prideful.
- Showing deferential or submissive respect.
- Low in rank, quality, or station; unpretentious or lowly.
- To bring low; to reduce the power, independence, or exaltation of; to lower; to abase; to humiliate.
- To make humble or lowly in mind; to abase the pride or arrogance of; to reduce the self-sufficiently of; to make meek and submissive.
- To abase; lower; depress; humiliate; mortify; disgrace; degrade.
- Thinking lowly of one’s self; claiming little for one’s self; not proud, arrogant, or assuming; thinking one’s self ill-deserving or unworthy, when judged by the demands of God; lowly; weak; modest.
With an honest time of self-examination and resisting the temptation to judge others using these definitions of “humble”, how do you fare? Don’t be surprised if you find yourself lacking some of these important qualities. Don’t be surprised if you feel the Holy Spirit shining His spotlight on some issues in your heart even now as you read this.
“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time” (1 Peter 5:6)
To be Christ-like is to be humble; the result of humility is in God’s very capable hands and it will be realized in the hearts of those who have learned true humility.
Remember, friends … life isn’t about how important we are or appear to the world. It’s about becoming a vessel through which God can draw others to Him, being a bearer of His glory and light to the nations. If we maintain humble hearts, His eternal purposes can be accomplished in and through us. Without true humility, we rob God of the opportunity to display His love, mercy and grace to the world.
Resist self-serving and self-promoting attributes. Walk humbly before God and man. God, Himself, will exalt you in due time.
Lord, my desire is to be a humble servant, willing to accept any circumstance in which I may find myself. My flesh is weak but, Lord, my spirit is willing to seek after humility. Help me, teach me, lead me, Oh Father, in the way that is most pleasing to you, regardless of the cost to me personally. Help me to submit my heart to You; do Your perfect work within me and be glorified, amen!
“And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.” (Matthew 23:12)
© Jan Ross
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