I wish to encourage you to walk in humility. We live in a world obsessed with self-image, self-importance, and self-promotion. But not so the children of God! Our deceitful hearts (Jeremiah 17:9) can so quickly mislead us into an unrighteous overestimation of self. It’s alarming that pride can so easily go undetected by self; however, others often see it, not to mention our Heavenly Father.
Most of us know the youthful failings of pride, and many of us have suffered at the hand of pride from those older, who should have been wiser. Likewise, we all enjoy being in the presence of humility, yet the opposite so easily rises from within our hearts. Being well acquainted with failure, the apostle Peter instructed younger believers to clothe yourselves …with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5). What a wonderful affirmation from our heavenly Father, His grace is more abundantly and specifically gifted to those who are humble (cf. James 4:6).
Even though we may fail often, and look at ourselves with disgust because of some proud or selfish action, or vain words spoken, genuine self-correction begins by humbling ourselves under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you (1 Peter 5:6). Turning from proud attitudes and actions starts with God, because others are often quick to remind us of failure, and awfully slow to encourage us to persevere in godliness. Therefore we entrust ourselves to the Shepherd and Overseer of our souls (1 Peter 2:25).
Obviously, Christ is our supreme example, who being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross (Philippians 2:8). Ironically, we sometimes become discouraged by the enormous gap between Christ’s character and ours. After all, He’s God. And we, well, we seem to struggle so much with our many inconsistencies. However, our encouragement is found in Christ, our comfort comes from His love, and our perseverance comes from participation in the Holy Spirit (Philippians 2:1). He not only motivates, but equips us to exclude selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than ourselves (Philippians 2:3). Our response to being God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, is to put on compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience (Colossians 3:12).
The apostle Paul, writing from prison, exhorted the Ephesian believers to walk in a manner worthy of the calling …with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love. Paul’s progressive point is this; humility is amongst the first manifestations of a regenerated child of God. Humility expresses itself through gentleness, patience, forbearance, and love, because that is the new nature implanted in us by the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ. Humility is eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:1-3), refreshing qualities that everyone appreciates being in the presence of.
Humility replicates the sweetness of Christ’s humility, it promotes the infectious love of God, and it proclaims the Lordship of the Saviour. Humility rescues relationships, it wins the respect of those previously disappointed people you value, and it earns the listening ear of the unsaved that surround you. It enriches marriage immeasurably, and leads in ever increasing hope and certainty rising from the Word of God. Humility puts others first, it listens even when shutting off would be easier, it accepts the person even while simultaneously rejecting the sin in the other life, it welcomes, it embraces, it’s grateful for every morsel. Humility refuses to fight for position or authority, it knows when to bow down or step backwards in order to express and promote the character of Christ, regardless of how unjust it may seem, or how much you may want to dig your toes in by demanding your rights. Humility is a giver, it’s a pacifier, it strives to unit in truth. Humility is gracious even when showing spite would come more naturally. It’s patient because it trusts in the sovereignty of God even when that’s not easy to understand.
Today, remember the humility of Christ. Think upon the privilege we enjoy in replicating His character in our lives. Be encouraged that humility has eternal glory.
Matthew 5:3-9 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (4) Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. (5) Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. (6) Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. (7) Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. (8) Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. (9) Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Together in Christ: Lincoln Forlong