Humility is a lesson that we probably have learned or will learn some time or another. It doesn’t matter how great we are, or how low we might be (socially, financially, etc.). It seems that being humble is just about one of the hardest things to do.
After all, in an episode of Cosmos I was watching recently, DeGrasse Tyson said something about our species being the only ones who feel the need to feel special. (At least I think it was from Cosmos…)
Some might argue that humility is an overrated quality. After all, I think a lot of American life is lived for pleasure and self-glorification, so humility isn’t always promoted.
But why is it so important to be humble? I guess in this article, I will discuss the importance of humility from a Christian perspective, but I would like to explain it from a secular viewpoint as well. I want this blog to be edifying for people who don’t come from a Christian background as well as those who do.
I guess at this point we all have experienced something similar – a loss of control. Whether it is through a family member’s health, or our own, or some sort of financial situation, life doesn’t usually go how we think that it’s going to go. I definitely didn’t expect to end up in New York like I did with the job that I have, but from this past couple years or so, I have learned that going with the flow has led to some pretty great opportunities.
A person’s steps are directed by the Lord.
How then can anyone understand their own way? (Proverbs 20:24 NLT)
This is a great verse – it explains that our lives are really not our own. When we realize that things are not completely in our control, I think it helps us to take a more humble approach to our lives. I think this usually happens in negative ways, but sometimes tough lessons are the best way to learn. When we begin to give our concerns to God, we admit that we can’t do everything on our own, and that we do not control our future. A lot of anxiety is cause by a lack of knowledge, but when we let our peace be maintained, we can ride the waves of life.
Another reason that humility is important for Christians is that it is part of God’s great salvation plan.
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NLT)
We should not necessarily take primary identity in our own strengths, but in the strength of our God. After all, we have different gifts to strengthen the body of Christ (you can reference the “Gifts” article). When we lean on God and His power, we are much stronger than when we solely rely on ourselves.
The gift of grace is one that is to be received with humility. We cannot become perfectly righteous on our own, and Jesus was the one who took the penalty for our sins. Fundamental Christianity. When we give our sins to Jesus, I guess we are practicing the most important form of humility.
When we trick our selves into believing that we can do everything on our own, we are lying a trap for our own feet.
18 Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”; 20 and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.”(1 Corinthians 3:18-20 NLT)
When we think that we are wise and have found a path in life that comes with money, etc., this isn’t always a sign that we are living a life that God intends for us. I think it might take becoming a “fool” to really feel the weight of the Gospel for many of us. Realizing that we do not have control over our lives, as I think I mention above, a lot of the time is not learned easily.
Once again, it is actually a method of finding peace to let go and let God take control.
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:6-7 NLT)
I find myself putting disclaimers in these articles. This article is NOT to say that we should lay back and let things work out while we remain lazy. The Bible does not advocate laziness, and speaks definitively against it. I do believe God will provide for me, but I do stay busy and try to work hard, and certainly do not endorse a lazy lifestyle.
When pride comes, then comes disgrace,
but with humility comes wisdom. (Proverbs 11:2 NLT)
One of the lessons I have learned time and time again, that I think I am finally starting to absorb a bit more, is that criticism, when constructive, is super helpful. We can get moody when people point out things about us/our tendencies (or whatever) and this can keep us from growing. Here’s a couple more.
Whoever disregards discipline comes to poverty and shame,
but whoever heeds correction is honored. (Proverbs 13:18 NLT)
Whoever heeds life-giving correction
will be at home among the wise. (Proverbs 15:31 NLT)
This blog is obviously supposed to minister to Christians, but I also want you to remember that when I write, I might be struggling with the topic as well, and I think that it is a great way to wrap my head around something that might be challenging me. Also, these articles might just sounds like ramblings, because that’s essentially what they are. I am trying to create bite sized articles on relevant topics, and that usually means I only include about 5-10 verses. Also, my writing style tends to be a bit all over the place. There is a lot on these topics that I would like to expand on in the future, but for now, ramblings it is. Thanks for reading.