8 KEYS TO HONING OUR HUMILITY
Humility is a constant hurdle. Humility does not come naturally. It’s not something that only we arrogant people struggle with either. We’re all born with a certain “ME-mentality.” Consider Moses. We find out in Numbers 12:3 that “Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.” Ironically enough…Moses wrote the book of Numbers. See what I mean?
Consider Mac Davis who wrote a song in 1980 called “Oh Lord It’s Hard to Be Humble.” The first stanza goes like this:
Oh Lord it’s hard to be humble | When you’re perfect in every way | I can’t wait to look in the mirror | Cause I get better looking each day | To know me is to love me | I must be a hell of a man | Oh Lord it’s hard to be humble | But I’m doing the best that I can.
Again…see what I mean?
Scripture commands us to be humble. But how do we? I’ve asked myself this question many times. I’ve wrestled with pride and arrogance for years. In order to battle it, I’ve had to work very hard at honing my humility. I’ve come up with 8 keys to help me. It’s a list I have to refer to often. It’s been written and rewritten in my journal countless times over the last several years. Perhaps this list will help you in honing your humility as well.
8 Keys to Honing Our Humility:
- Resist self-centeredness–It’s far too easy to be far too self-absorbed. We must resist the temptation to put ourselves in the spotlight. It takes conscious effort and awareness on our part. Instead, defer the credit to someone else. Allow another person to shine. Battle the pride within that wants to shout “me, me, me!”
- Seek understanding–Unfortunately we put more effort into being understood by others. We desperately want our point to come across. Being validated or accepted seems to be our bottom line. But what if we changed that around? We need to first seek to understand other folks before we demand to be understood by them. It’s amazing what this little attitude adjustment accomplishes when we’re dealing with other people.
- Surrender your expectations for others to fit your mold–This one is tough. We expect the people in our lives to act a certain way or hold to a certain standard that we have subconsciously set for them. And when they don’t, it’s a constant source of consternation for us. So we must let go of the expectation for them to fit our mold. We must love them for who they are, not what we want them to become.
- Humble yourself before God–Sounds redundant, but it’s not. In order to hone our humility, we must put it in the proper perspective–that perspective being God, Himself. When we position ourselves correctly with the God of the universe, how can we even dare to be arrogant? Remember, He’s God, and we’re not.
- Invite God to chip away at the rough edges of your personality–Yes, give God access to the rough edges of your personality. Admit it…you have rough edges and so do I. Let Him take a hammer and chisel and pound away. It won’t be pleasant, but it will be powerful. We need to be continually molded and shaped by the One who loves us most.
- Use your gifts without seeking applause–We all have gifts, skills, and talents. And there’s nothing like working or serving within that giftedness. It’s a great feeling. The affirmation we get is a boost to our ego. But, be careful. We can quickly get off kilter, toss humility to the side, and feed the arrogance dragon inside us. (And it doesn’t need any extra meals.) 🙂
- Focus on Jesus–This is once again a challenge in our perspective and attitude. When we fix our eyes on Jesus, we gain perfect perspective. We recall His ultimate sacrifice for us. We recall that He came to serve, not to be served. We recall that our attitude should be the same as His.
- Depend only on God–We’re pretty capable individuals when it comes to problem solving. We’ve become capable to a fault perhaps. We depend on our ourselves first, others second, and God as a last resort. When we realize that God is our true source of peace, comfort, strength, joy, etc., it breeds humility within us.
Humility is not a skill. It’s a learned behavior. Honing our humility is not a natural pursuit. It’s a gradual process we endure as we seek to become more like Christ.
If “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6), shouldn’t we constantly have in our sights the challenge of honing our humility?