A Christian dies to himself every day by not doing things that feed the ego. Instead of spending time seeking to have one’s ego built up by attention and approval from others, 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:
“Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant,and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name” (Philippians 2:1-9).
Humility comes by building others up in the faith, not demanding others build us up in the faith or build up our egos. A believer dies to the flesh daily by not engaging in sins or in things that the sinful flesh desires. 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 too many Christians spend more time exercising or procrastinating than they do praying and reading the Bible. A believer dies to the world by reducing involvements 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 to accumulate wealth and possessions.
Every Christian who desires to die to self 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 ourselves when our self-love, love of the flesh and love of the world diminishes:
“Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives 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 not only desire, but actively seek after. God does not use His children to bring Him glory until they are humble. A believer who humbles himself before God 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).
Pride is a sin (Proverbs 21.4), and it is one of the seven things that God hates (Proverbs 8:13). It is an abomination to Him (Proverbs 6:17), especially prideful deceit.
Humility is one of the most difficult traits for anyone to obtain. 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 need to do is pray, read, study, memorize and meditate on Scripture. The things one should do on a regular basis are fellowship with the brethren, share the gospel with the lost as the Holy Spirit leads and make disciples.
As we do these things day-by-day and not do evil things we will grow more humble and be used by God for His glory (1 Corinthians 10:31) more each day. Others will see the Lord working through us and may be encouraged to follow our example.