What would the world look like if Christians truly adopted the discipline to put others before themselves? I think it would be a radically different place — a place where we listened to one another and cared about each other's needs. Humility seems like an elusive thing, but I think it's easier to do than we might believe. In this episode, we look at how practicing humility actually creates a real and authentic life and there's no better place to learn that than the life of Jesus.
"There's a thin line between confidence and arrogance. It's called humility. Confidence smiles. Arrogance smirks." - Unknown
What does a life of Humility look like? Read this...
2 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage;7 rather, He made Himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! - Philippians 2:1-8
Authentic humility requires us to share ourselves for the benefit of others. It’s being authentic about our struggles, our past or convictions in the hopes that others will open up and connect with us on a deeper level. For us to do this, we have to lay our pride and fear down for the sake of someone else. It’s putting someone else’s needs above our own. It’s showing love through the sharing of ourselves in order to help someone else in their own struggles. When we put others first, we care what they have to say and acknowledge and help with their needs.
I believe that under all the self-protection, ego, insecurities and confusion the world has given to us, we want to love people. It's like we need a factory reset back to the way the Creator intended us to be. By living a lifestyle of humility our lives become more real and authentic to the way we were created to live.
Name the Fear
The first thing we have to do is acknowledge our fears. Call it what it is. Fear's a coward and if we embrace it we're a coward.
Fear is a toxic poison to a life like Jesus.
Start with Family
Start with the most basic and, in my opinion, most important place to practice humility — our families. Now when I say "our families" I'm talking husbands, wives, children, parents, siblings, etc... Just fill in the blank based on your current situation or life journey.
If you have a spouse who primarily handles the dishes, then maybe you could pause one of the things you like to do to tackle the dishes. Like most people, I'm sure you don't want to do it, but that's the sacrifice that comes along with humility. It requires us to lower ourselves to things we wouldn't choose to do to keep that other person from having to do it themselves.
If you have kids, you could shut off your phone for an hour and spend uninterrupted time doing something with them that they love. If your kid loves legos, like mine do, do that. If you kid is older and enjoys movies or sports, go do that. Just make sure you are giving up something for the greater good.
Maybe your parent or parental figure in your life needs some help with the technology around their house. I know my mom and I joke all the time that I'm her IT department.
Continue with Friends and Acquaintances
Next I'd say we can practice this by continuing it into the relationships we have with friends and acquaintances. These are the people we interact and do life with.
Maybe you just got a promotion at work and before you start using that increased income, maybe, like I mentioned earlier, you could help a friend that you know who doesn't have any wiggle room in their budget or has fallen on hard times. Give them an anonymous gift that can be used to offset some of their struggles. I know this would be hard, but it can also be so rewarding.
It doesn't have to be monetary. You could go mow their grass for them. You could bring them a meal. You could even babysit their kids. Hey, it could be you taking the time to sit and listen to what they're walking through right now. Life can feel lonely; humility creates community.
Extend to Community
Once we've practiced humility with our family and friends, then we have the opportunity to extend it into the communities that we encounter. When I say community, I mean the places we live, work and shop. Everyday we interact with different people; some may be a one-time interaction and others could be ongoing. Don't miss these. Make the most of these usually overlooked social connections.
This could be as simple as asking the cashier at the gas station how their day is going. It could be inviting that woman at your Bible study who sits alone to have a cup of coffee or it could be learning the waiter's name and remembering it every time you visit that restaurant.
Every person on this planet wants to belong and be accepted. Your acts of humility could change the course of their day, week or possibly their lives.
If we could stop thinking about ourselves so much, we would soon see that there are people everywhere who need love. Living real and being authentic requires us to have the same heart as Jesus and that's the heart of a servant. We must be willing to lay down the phone, agenda or work and see the power and potential of a world that loves and takes care of one another. A life of humility shows the world we're different. It's one of the greatest acts of love. In John 13:35 Jesus says,
"By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another."
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