Philippians 2: 5-9 Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God,
did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage.Instead He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men. And when He had come as a man in His external form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient
to the point of death— even to death on a cross. For this reason God highly exalted Him
and gave Him the name that is above every name,
Humility is as misunderstood as it is despised in the flesh. True humility can only be understood and practiced when we allow the Holy Spirit to lead. Humility involves sacrifice and will definitely require submitting oneself for others and to the will of God. At first humility is not easy because the flesh doesn’t want to be humble. The flesh wants to exalt itself but if we allow humility to have its place in our life it has so many rewards.
It is humility that gives us access through Jesus Christ to the grace of God. The bible says that God gives grace and wisdom to the humble but He resists the proud. It is also humility that allows us to rely on the Holy Spirit instead of our self righteousness and self sufficiency. Those who are humble are humble first in their heart while those who are self righteous portray humility on the outside only, by their works. Those who are self righteous can never please God and they will soon fall in their pride. Only a humble person will realize that he cannot take the Christian walk without the help of the Holy Spirit and so a humble person will allow his heart to be humble and rest on the finished work of Jesus Christ. On the other hand a self righteous person will burn themselves out trying to justify themselves by their own abilities.
Humility, which also means meekness or gentleness, is often mistaken to mean that one is weak or that one becomes an easy target to other people’s mistreatment but this is not so. While some people may try to take advantage of a person who is humble or meek it will not get them anywhere. The bible makes it clear that anyone who is humble towards others and puts their total trust in God will not be disgraced.
It goes without saying that humility is done with willingness. This willingness will only come from realizing who we are in Christ and that God is faithful to His word. You must spend time with God in prayer and meditating on His word at all times. It is while you abide in God through Christ that humility naturally develops as one of the fruit of the Spirit. This means that your humility is not done to impress anyone or done out of fear of speaking up or standing up for what is right. Humility will naturally lead you to prefer others above yourself and you will not care to impress others but to serve them. Humility does not make you a coward but instead gives boldness and wisdom to rightly handle the truth. Anything outside of this is not humility but rather what is commonly referred to as ‘false humility’ or better yet plain ol’ pride.
Now that we know what humility is not we may be wondering what real humility looks like. Jesus Christ is our example of humility. Our humility must be done the same way Jesus did humility. We read throughout the bible that Jesus was never afraid to speak up where necessary and he was far from being a push over and this may be far from the idea many of us have of what being humble means. Biblical humility is done in total obedience to God’s word and one thing was clear and that is that Jesus obeyed God totally even to death. He only did God’s will and was never afraid to let anyone know. Biblical humility means total trust and dependence on God and that is the example Jesus Christ showed us throughout the bible.
Now many of us may believe that we are humble because we have been told this by others or by our own estimation. This may be true but it is the spirit of God that can give us a true estimation of our humility. There are many things He can show us to help us realize if we are truly humble or not. Do we rely on the Him to lead us through the Word of God? How do we start our day and how do we live our day? Do we commit our day into God’s hands or do we jump out in self sufficiency? Do we take God at His word? Do we let the Word of God be the final authority in our lives or do we have to supplement His word with some of ours or that of others? Our answer to some of these questions can help us to know if we are truly humble or not.
Remember it is not how we see ourselves or how others see us that show that we are humble. It is important that we do not get too comfortable to let God evaluate us because He alone sees our hearts. It is one of the signs of humility that we are willing to go before God so He can show us where we are not pleasing Him instead of assessing ourselves according to our own estimations.
1 Peter 5:5 “Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
1 Corinthians 10: 12 “So, whoever thinks he stands must be careful not to fall.”
Psalms 149: 4 “For the LORD takes pleasure in his people; he adorns the humble with salvation”
Proverbs 11:2 “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom”
Galatians 5:22, 23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control”
Matthew 11:29 “All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves”
Luke 18:9-14 “He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and looked down on everyone else: “Two men went up to the temple complex to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee took his stand and was praying like this: ‘God, I thank You that I’m not like other people -greedy, unrighteous, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of everything I get.’ “But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even raise his eyes to heaven but kept striking his chest and saying, ‘God, turn Your wrath from me -a sinner!’ I tell you, this one went down to his house justified rather than the other; because everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Temitope Talabi is a founding member of The Trent Voices currently reside in Austin, TX. She graduated with a PharmD from Texas Southern University in Houston, TX. She works as a community pharmacist and spends her spare time writing to build and encourage others through the word of God. Temitope is also currently working on a series of self-help books created to empower people to take charge of their health and wellness, the first of which is scheduled to be released early next year.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.