I have talked to so many people who think that to be humble you must have a poor view of yourself, or think of yourself as weak. Being strong and being humble don’t go together in their thinking. So, because of this, people have trouble allowing themselves to be humble. Even more, living in a world that stresses independence and success, we feel that we have to go out and be better than others. How can you survive and thrive if you are humble?
It is important to have a better perspective of humility, especially if we are going to be followers of Jesus Christ. Jesus Himself was humble, but no one would call Him weak. So how did He balance His strength with His humility?
He was one who knew who He was and what His purpose was. In John 6:38 Jesus said: “For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of Him who sent me.” And in Matthew 20:28 He said: “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” When we live out the purpose that God has for us, and live this with confidence, we will be both strong and humble.
Second, it is about being teachable. To think we know it all will not only distance us from people, but it will lead us to look foolish. In James 1:21 we are told, “Therefore putting aside all filthiness and all of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted in you.” God implants His word in us, and through His word we are taught what we need to know. The word of God, the Bible, has the answers; we need to seek these answers out and regularly learn from them.
Third, humility is about being considerate to others. The other day I had an encounter with one of the all-stars on Tyler’s baseball team. He didn’t want to listen to me because I wasn’t an “official” coach. I told him that even though I wasn’t a coach, I was an adult, and he should respect that. He didn’t agree, and mouthed off to me. I am amazed at the lack of respect kids show to adults these days. But the truth is, so many adults aren’t very considerate to other adults. When we are not considerate to others, we have a self-centered attitude. This is not humility, and this is not how God would have us be.
Humility helps us to battle the pride and selfishness that is in us. It is a universal battle that we face every day of our lives. But if we can be humble, then we will think of others and not just ourselves, and we will be much more blessed for it.