Humility

Others before Me

Esteem is something that we as humans desire. When people esteem us, it makes us feel valuable and worthy. It makes us feel important. The world, however, tends to give esteem to people based on things that are shallow and often selfish. Accomplishment, for instance, is something to be esteemed. Appearance, power, amount of friends, wealth, education - these things and more are what makes a person valuable.

 

The Bible, however, sees esteem differently. Jesus says in Luke 14:11-

 

11 For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

 

God gives honor to those who walk in humility. It is through the dying of one’s self that esteem is gained. This is the opposite of how our world views esteem. When Jesus preached his sermon on the mount in Matthew 5, he began with a call to humility. Check it out for yourself:

 

He said:

 

3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,

    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4 Blessed are those who mourn,

    for they will be comforted.

5 Blessed are the meek,

    for they will inherit the earth.

6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,

    for they will be filled.

7 Blessed are the merciful,

    for they will be shown mercy.

8 Blessed are the pure in heart,

    for they will see God.

9 Blessed are the peacemakers,

    for they will be called children of God.

10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,

    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

 

Humility is lowering yourself. It’s viewing others above yourself and allowing God himself to give you value, which is infinitely better than what the world or even yourself can give. Take a few minutes to read through chapter 6 of Andrew Murray’s book Humility. The chapter is entitled “Humility in Daily Life”, and you can find it linked below:

 

Andrew Murray's Humility

As Andrew Murray puts it, let’s approach every difficult and testing situation as a chance to grow in Christ toward humility. We will experience challenges daily in our interactions with other people. Will you choose to let your irritation control you, or will you die to yourself and show others grace? Will you place yourself before others, or will you serve them by placing them before you?

 

After reading the article, complete the Practice activities below to complete this module.

*This little book on humility is very short. Go ahead and read the whole thing, if you're hungry!

Practice

  • Read, meditate on, and memorize Matthew 16:24-26.

  • Practice Fasting. Pick a timeframe - a meal, a day, three days, etc. - and fast eating.

    • When you fast, you show yourself that you are able to deny your fleshly desires and learn how to deny yourself.

    • When you fast, take that time when you would normally eat to pray and listen to God.

  • Practice serving others. Over the next few days, make a conscious effort to place others you encounter ahead of yourself. Take note of your experiences:

    • How did you feel?

    • How did the other person react?

    • Did you recognize the Lord present in your moment of humility?