Walking in Humility



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  • Walking in Humility

    When Charles Dickens wrote the classic novel “David Copperfield”, he created an unattractive character called Uriah Heep – a greedy, insincere, ambitious manipulator who constantly proclaimed his “humbleness”. But Uriah was not humble. He was proud, self-absorbed and self-serving. The words that came out of his mouth were false. Someone who is truly humble is not self-aware of their humility nor considers it. They aren’t absorbed with themselves at all. Faith and humility are cousins in spiritual context. They are the place of dependence on God. All Christian virtue flows from this unified balance.

    In order to live by the grace of God, we must be willing to walk in humility. "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble" (1 Peter 5:5). If humility is defined, in Paul’s terms, as “considering others as more important than” ourselves (Phil. 2:3), then, clearly, humility is a uniquely Christian virtue. In this fallen, sinful universe, with its “survival of the fittest” mentality, the prize goes usually to those who are aggressive, assertive, and pursue their own interests.

    Jesus was God—yet he considered humanity as more important than himself and humbled himself, not once, but repeatedly, in an ever-descending sequence: from God to man; from man to slave; from obedient slave to death; from death to death on an cruel Roman cross. In this Jesus became a role model for his followers to emulate (see John 13:1–20). Rather than arguing over who is the greatest Jesus calls on us, as Paul puts it, to “carry one another's burden” and “in this way … to fulfill the law of Christ”.

    In the Philippian church (see Phil 4:2–3) as well as in our churches today, we often find it hard to get along with one another. Why is this? According to Paul, the reason may be rivalry, conceit, or selfish ambition. So what is the remedy? Again, it is one word that encapsulates Paul’s answer: humility: “in humility … everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Phil 2:4). May God help us to do so, and as we strive for humility. Below is a short list of attributes, although not exhaustive:

    1. Humility begins with a sense of internal submission to God in Christ. “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master” (Matthew 10:24). “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God” (1 Peter 5:6).

    2. Humility does not expect a better experience than Jesus endured. “If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign the members of his household!” (Matt. 10:25). Therefore humility does not return evil for evil. It is not life based on its perceived rights. “Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in his steps. . . . While suffering, he uttered no threats, but handed [his cause] over to him who judges righteously” (1 Peter 2:21–23).

    3. Proverbs 19:11 teaches, “A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.” Humility overlooks an offense, taking no notice of wrongs done against oneself, to refuse to retaliate or seek revenge, to brood or resort to contempt but chooses to let affronts go, or to forgive. "The pride of man will bring him shame, but with the humble is wisdom" (Proverbs 11:2).

    4. Humility allows a person to be teachable and willing to submit to the instruction of God. The humble Christian is not a doormat or a pushover, but confidently puts their trust in God and does not act arrogantly, spitefully or with resentment.

    5. Humility asserts truth without elevating ego nor delights in triumphs in debate, but as service to Christ and love to the contender. “Love rejoices in the truth” (1 Cor. 13:6). You can be a peacemaker without needing to fight for your opinion.

    6. Humility knows it is dependent on grace for all knowing and believing. “What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?” (1 Corinthians 4:7). “In humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21).

    7. Humility knows it is fallible, and so considers criticism and learns from it. But humility also knows that God has made provision for human conviction and that he calls us to encourage others. “A wise man is he who listens to counsel” (Proverbs 12:15).

    We must be willing to acknowledge our daily, desperate need for God. Any other approach to life is based upon pride (which is a foolish, inaccurate assumption that we are adequate to produce a life on our own). Those who walk in pride end up with shame. Those who walk in humility end up with wisdom. Those who walk humbly before the Lord find the godly wisdom available in the Lord's infallible word. "The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple" (Psalm 19:7).

  • #2
    I agree with your commentary. Humility is the key in “listening with an open heart", understanding better an other person, looking for the correct and helpful solutions not just imposing your own will and manipulating the word of God

    However Sometimes humility could be perceived as a weakness and create attacks of evil How could one remedy and avoid being humiliated?


    • #3
      Although a model of humility, Jesus was anything but a fawning or timid weakling. He courageously spoke the truth and had absolutely no fear of man. He even earned the respect of some of his opposition. (Mark 12:13, 17; 15:5) Humility is not weakness, but strength under control. The word humility comes from the Latin word ‘humas’, meaning earth. To live in humility is to be earthed and grounded. Humility isn’t denying your strengths; it’s being honest about your weaknesses.


      • #4
        Our Lord Jesus Christ's two commandments are the most counter-intuitive and counter-cultural commandments ever issued. They go against the grain of who we in the flesh. But with Christ all things are possible! His Spirit sustains us in this fight against our flesh


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