November 23, 2017

Practical Humility

Humility: what is it?

So often we simply associate the concept of humility with a state of mind, a heart attitude, and don’t pursue the idea any further. And humility does begin in the heart, and it does develop in the mind. But humility is practiced and matured outwardly.

Humility

Humility is lived out on a very practical level, through our daily actions and interactions. What does that look like?

  • Start your day with God. Meet with Him in private, before the cares of your day distract you. Focus your thoughts on His character, and acknowledge your dependence upon Him. Surrender the day ahead to His guidance, and determine that His will, not yours, be done.
  • Study God’s Word. Meditate on it, memorize it. Internalize it. As His Word permeates your heart, you will see more clearly how great He is — and how small we are. We have an incomparable God, and the more we learn of Him, the more we see ourselves through the lens of humility. We are like grasshoppers in His sight!
  • Put others’ needs ahead of your own — even to the detriment of your own desires. That means not interrupting them while they’re speaking, letting them — even asking them — to go ahead of you in line, letting them have that last slice of cake or the best seat on the plane, investing your time to simply be with them, helping financially where it is needed… Remember Christ’s example? He gave up His right to heavenly perfection, and took on the broken form of man, not as a king but as a lowly servant, for the sake of saving a rebellious and unrepentant humanity. That, my friend, is true humility.
  • Do everything without grumbling or complaining. That includes putting others’ needs ahead of your own. And obeying those in authority, whether that be work or family or church leadership or government. Accepting bad weather, unhappy inconveniences, and painful interruptions without complainingAccepting correction with grace, without grumbling that “nobody understands” or “everybody hates me.” Why? Because complaining says that “my way is more important” and “I know best.” But choosing to give thanks, rather than complain, accepts that God’s ways are higher than yours, and that His purposes are far beyond your comprehension.
  • Love without asking for anything in return. Humble love for others cares little about its own gain. In this sense, humility is love itself. It places the other’s needs ahead of its own; it promotes and honors the other, rather than seeking its own benefit; it faithfully and patiently serves the other no matter what. Sounds like 1 Corinthians 13, doesn’t it?
  • Outdo each other in showing honor. Your entire body works together, from your littlest pinkie toe to your ear hairs to your strongest muscle. It’s the same with the body of Christ. We are all created in God’s image, and every single part is to be honored. So respect each other. Help each other. Bear each other’s burdens, weep with each other’s sorrows, and rejoice in each other’s joys.
  • End your day with God. Place each day’s cares in His hands.  Choose not to worry about tomorrow, but peacefully surrender the future to Him. Train your heart to rest in Him, as your body rests in sleep.

Humility is more than just a state of mind: it is a way of living. It is the door to true salvation, and the beginning of sanctification. It is the foundation for the fear of the Lord, which brings wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy, which brings understanding. It is the basis for Christ-like love.

Humility is at the core of intimacy with God — He resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. We grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as we grow in humility. {<–tweet that!}

 

What are some other ways we can show humility through our actions?
Leave a comment with your ideas!

 

Comments

  1. Great post! Thank you!

  2. Thanks for a lovely meditation : )

  3. Great article 🙂 One thing really struck me…

    Loving without asking for or expecting anything in return can be so difficult me (and others that I know)! So many times, even when we don’t realize it, we expect adulation or even a simple thank up for our works of love. It’s very hard to not be frustrated when they don’t come. But that’s not why we should be doing those things!

    Rather, just for the act of showing God’s love should we do things for others.

    Great reminder that we need to leave those expectations behind! Glad I stopped by from Desire to Inspire!

    • Thanks so much for stopping by, Victoria! Your comment reminds me of a verse in Colossians… basically, we don’t do things for man’s approval, but instead “we serve the Lord Christ.” HIS “thank you” or “well done” means so much more than anything another person could offer! If we remembered that more often, I think we would all be a lot more loving – and of a lot more people, too.

  4. OH this is so great, Elizabeth! What a great idea to put humility into practice – giving us ideas as to how to live out what that to which God has called us. 🙂

  5. Wonderful post! Some great things to ponder. Thanks for sharing. : )

  6. I absolutely LOVED this! Such truth in such a simple form. Thank you!

    I’d love for you to link up with Eyes of Your Heart Ministries’ Eyes in the Word Wednesdays if you ever feel like it! http://wp.me/p1PYyo-wt

    Thanks again for a great post!!

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