Humility. The word is lovely, but it tends to bring up images that falsify true humility. Humility doesn't mean dressing plain or ugly, being a doormat, letting others boss you around or feeling worthless. Humilty is much more than that. It's basis is thinking rightly about who you are in relation to God. It is right, realistic thinking.
It is knowing
- your real strengths
- your true weaknesses
- your genuine talents
- your real worth
Humility is a balance between the opposing and extreme ends of boastful pride and false humility. When our eyes are on ourselves and whether we think we are better or worse than others, it is pride. When our eyes are on God, we can't help but be humble. Here are a few points from a recent Sunday School lesson which brought out some great points about humility.
1. A humble person has the right perspective about who they are in relation to God. God is God - we are not.
2. A humble person directs people's attention to God. They know it is not about 'me', but what God has given to me and how His grace is what makes us what we are.
3. A humble person is not self-focused but God-focused. You cannot 'achieve humility'. The more you work on it and focus on it, the more you focus on yourself. When we focus on God, He increases and our selfishness decreases. We think more about Him and less about ourselves.
Humility brings about grace - grace to receive and grace to give. It brings about confidence in the fact that God made us unique and has gifted and equipped us to be ourselves. It brings about kindness and compassion when we turn our focus from ourselves to others we are more aware of needs and ways we can help meet the needs of others. The Golden Rule, spoken by Jesus, is possibly the best known quote from the Bible, and contains a lot of wisdom in one short sentence. If we wish to be loved, we must first give love. If we wish to be respected, we must respect all persons, even those we despise. If we wish to be fulfilled in our lives, we must share generously with others.
Humility and the fear of the LORD bring wealth and honor and life. (NIV, Proverbs 22:4)
"But the greatest among you shall be your servant. "And whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted. (NAS, Matthew 23:11-12)