On Sunday, our life group leader asked us how we foster humility in our lives on a daily basis.
The best example of how to walk in humility is Jesus himself.
He is the very essence of humility.
“Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:6-8
So how do we foster humility? How do we overcome that old monster pride?
First, we have to shift our focus to Jesus.
“Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest.” Hebrews 3:1
I can become so consumed with me, myself, and I. In order to break out of my “me” mentality, I have to shift my focus to Him.
I was reading in Hebrews last week. Hebrews is full of specific passages about Jesus. Reading those specific scriptures about Him helped me shift my focus off me and on to Him. That really seemed to help weaken pride’s grip on me.
Cranking up the worship music, lifting Him up, and giving Him that rightful place of honor, can also help pride take a hike.
Listening to sermons on podcasts, and having continual truth coming into my mind helps me keep my thoughts fixed on Him throughout the day.
Another very important aspect of humility is evidenced in how we treat others. Sometimes I wish it could just be “me and God.” We get along great when it’s just the two of us. It’s the people around me that causes all the trouble ;).
Yet people are the laboratory where we get the opportunity to practice humility. That’s where we get to model the humility that Jesus modeled for us.
Philippians 2:3-5 says, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:”
We cannot be right with God and wrong with others. Our relationships with others directly affects our relationship with God. And that’s where the rub is. That’s where it gets complicated.
This “in humility value others above yourselves” phrase ain’t no walk in the park.
So how do we practically walk this humility stuff out?
After we shift our focus to Jesus, then we ask Him to help us have an “others-centered” mindset. Philippians 2:5 tells us “ In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:”
Pastor Robby says that humility isn’t thinking less of yourself. It’s just not thinking about yourself.
Rick Warren says that we should seek to be interested not interesting.
Take a genuine interest in others.
Get involved in people’s lives. Ask questions. Encourage others. Usually when we walk in a room, we think, What do these people think about me? Instead, walk into a room thinking, How can I serve these people?
“A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” Proverbs 11:25
There is a humility secret that if we can apply, it will be a huge “pride killer” in our lives. I have experienced this breakthrough at times in the past. It is so hard to do, and I don’t do it like I should. But when I have been able to, it sets me free and I have experienced such a precious closeness with the Lord and others.
When someone is getting on your nerves or you are struggling with someone who is hard to love–pray for them. And I don’t mean pray that lightning will strike their hind-end. Pray that God will bless them, draw them close to Him, and thank Him for them. Try to pray and list specific things that you are thankful for about them. There are positive things you can say about the people who are hard to love, even though you might not FEEL that way about them. Then find ways to bless them or encourage them. Luke 6:28 tells us to bless those who curse us.
Our feelings can’t be trusted.
We don’t always FEEL love for others, but we can still ACT in love because that’s what God’s Word tells us to do. We must obey even when we don’t feel like it. And when we do, that’s usually when feelings of love will follow.
We are refreshed, not when WE get all the accolades and attention, but when we refresh others. We win when we let others win. We live when we die to ourselves.
I share all this with you not from a place of victory, but from a place of great weakness. Pride is one of my toughest struggles. It is a daily battle. And I don’t have it licked by a long shot. Most of the time pride wins. But here’s what I know: I cannot let pride win and still be close to God. Pride greatly hinders my relationship with Him. And I hate not feeling that closeness with Him.
I want to overcome this because I want to be close to Him.
And in order to be close to Him–to go higher–I must go lower.
If we want to walk with Jesus, we will always find Him on the path of humility.