FAQ :: How can I show more humility?

Humility is a spiritual trait that few Christians have on an ongoing basis because it is impossible to obtain it through the flesh. Humility only comes when a Christian surrenders his or her life to the Lord every day. Surrender is daily obedience to God and dying to our selves, the flesh, and the world. We must cultivate an attitude of loving service to one another. Whatever we do should have an attitude of gratitude and not self-righteous indignation as if we are superior to others in some way.

One obeys God by praying throughout the day from morning to night (1 Thessalonians 5.17); by daily reading, studying, memorizing and meditating on Scripture, by regular fellowship with the brethren (Acts 2.42, 46-47; Hebrews 3.13; 10.24-25); by continual sharing of the gospel (Psalm 96.2; Acts 2.47; 1 Peter 3.15) and by making disciples (Matthew 28.19-20; 1 Timothy 2.15).

One dies daily to self by not doing things that feed the ego. Instead of spending time seeking to have your ego built up by the approval, attention, love, respect, honor from others, and seeking fame, glory and riches — we need to seek how we can build others up by giving approval to their good deeds, and by giving them attention, love, respect and honor (Philippians 2.1-9). The road to humility is traveled successfully by building others up in the faith and not demanding others build us up in the faith or build up our egos.

One dies to the flesh daily by not engaging in things that the sinful flesh desires and which are sins. Two of the most prevalent sins of the flesh are gluttony and intoxication (by alcohol or drugs). Excessive indulgence in some other activities of the flesh that some Christians need to curb are sex, partying, sports, hobbies, vacationing, shopping and self-indulgent pampering. The goal of a believer who seeks to die to himself is to spend more time in spiritual activities than activities of the flesh, which are not necessary for survival. Everyone must eat to live, but gluttony is a sin.

Everyone needs to engage in bodily exercise, but sometimes too many Christians spend more time exercising than they do praying and reading the Bible. A believer dies to the world by reducing his or her involvement in certain worldly activities or by cutting them out altogether. Some worldly activities that most Christians spend far too much time engaged in are: television, movies, music, Internet, politics, non-spiritual books and magazines and seeking after wealth and possessions. Every Christian who desires to die to himself and live a holy life for the glory of God will spend more time each day in prayer, Scripture, fellowship and soul-winning than in activities of the world.

We know we are growing in the Lord and dying to our selves, the flesh and the world when our self-love, our love of the flesh and our love of the world fades, as it should.

”Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:15-17).

The more these sinful desires diminish the humbler one will be. Pride is the opposite of humility. Pride is the root of every sin. There is no sin a person can commit that does not spring from pride. That is why the key to holy living is to be humble. Humility replaces pride and when pride is vanquished so is sin. No one can ever eliminate all traces of pride and sin, but it should be the goal of every true believer.

Humility is a spiritual trait that every Christian should desire and actively seek after. God does not use His children to bring Him glory until they are humble; a humble believer will be looked upon by God with grace (Isaiah 66.2; Proverbs 3.34; James 4.6) and He will have regard for him (Psalm 138.6). And when we humble ourselves before God and those around us He will exalt us (James 4.10). We must never forget that all Christians are commanded to “humble” themselves before God (1 Peter 5.6), “walk humbly with” God (Micah 6.8), be “humble in spirit” (1 Peter 3.8), clothe themselves “with humility” (1 Peter 5.5) and to not be proud (Romans 12.16).

Humility is always better than pride (Proverbs 16.19) and it is the only way to obtain true riches, honor and life (Proverbs 22.4). Pride will bring a person down while humility with bring him honor (Proverbs 11.2; 16.18; 29.23). We must also remember that there are numerous warnings against pride (Psalm 10.2; 40.4; 73.6; 119.78; Proverbs 3.7; 26.12; 28.25; Isaiah 5.21; 13.11; John 9.41; Revelation 3.17). And being proud is a sin (Proverbs 21.4), one of the seven things that God hates and that is an abomination to Him (Proverbs 6.17; 8.13).

Humility is one of the most difficult traits for anyone to obtain on a daily basis. No one can be humble in his or her own power. We must rely on the power of the HOLY SPIRIT to impart humility to us. Yet there are specific things we must do on a daily and regular basis before He will give us humility. The daily things we should do as noted previously are pray, read, study, memorize and meditate on Scripture. The things one should do on a regular basis are fellowship with the brethren and share the gospel with the lost as the HOLY SPIRIT leads. These are the basics, but there are many other things a dedicated Christian should do on a daily basis:

Seek first the kingdom of God (Matthew 6.33).
Put on the armor of God (Ephesians 6.10-18).
Fight the good fight of faith (1 Timothy 6.12).
Transform your mind (Romans 12.2).
Take up your cross (Matthew 10.38-39; 16.24-26).
Deny yourself (Romans 12.1).
Be content in your circumstances (Philippians 4.3; 1 Timothy 6.6-8; Hebrews 13.5).
Give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5.18).
Continually offer praise to God (Hebrews 13.15).
Forsake the world and all that is in it (Romans 12.2; Galatians 6.14; 1 Peter 1.14; 1 John 2.15-17).
Flee from seeking after riches (1 Timothy 6.9-11).
Submit to others (Ephesians 5.21).
Obey your spiritual leaders (Hebrews 13.17).
Love the brethren (John 13.34-35; James 2.15-16; 1 John 3.16-18).
Love the lost and one’s enemies (Proverbs 25.21; Matthew 5.43-48).
Be rich in good works (1 Timothy 6.18; Galatians 6.10; Ephesians 2.10; 2 Timothy 3.17; Hebrews 13.16).
Do not grow weary in doing good works (2 Thessalonians 3. 13).
Give to those in need (Leviticus 25.35; Deuteronomy 15.7; Proverbs 11.24-25; 19.17; 21.13; 22.9; 28.27; Ecclesiastes 11.1; Isaiah 58.7; Matthew 5.42; Luke 6.38; 12.33; Acts 11.29; Romans 12.13; Hebrews 13.1-2; James 1.27; 1 Peter 4.9).
Lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity (1 Timothy 2.1).

As we do these things day-by-day we will grow more humble and be used by God for His glory, more each day (1 Corinthians 10.31). Others will see the Lord working through us and might be encouraged to follow our example. Pastors must set an example for the flock (1 Peter 5.3) by engaging in the spiritual activities above and they should also encourage others to do the same. They and all Christians should be the servant of all (Matthew 20.26-27; Mark 9.35; Luke 22.26).