“Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, but humility goes before honor.”- Proverbs 18:12
When addressing the topic of humility in the life of a follower of Jesus, Charles Spurgeon said, “Every Christian has a choice between being humble or being humbled.”
The defining mark of Jesus’ life during His earthly ministry was humility. Because He now lives in us by the Holy Spirit, humility should define us as well. But how does that become a reality? How do we heed the warning of today’s verse from Proverbs 18:12 and demonstrate a humble heart and not a prideful one?
If humility is to mark our lives, there are two important facets that must be embraced. First, we must humble ourselves before God. There is only one way for humility to fill our hearts – we must spend time in the presence of God. This sounds very simple, but unfortunately it is not easy. The tendency of our flesh is to attempt to microwave spiritual maturity, but a heart of humility is produced in no other way than time alone with God. The bi-product of time spent in God’s presence is humility! Here is why: the closer we walk with God, the more miserable things we find inside of us. And when we see the darkness of our own hearts, we are humbled by the grace and mercy God has shown us.
Second, we must humble ourselves before others. In his book, The Calvary Road, Roy Hession said, “Our humility before God has no value, but as it prepares us to reveal the humility of Jesus to our fellow-men.” As we once again look to the life of Jesus, we see a servant leader who humbled Himself before people regardless if they had anything to offer Him in return. Humility before God and others is interconnected. One flows from the other. Imagine the Gospel-impact we would have if every time people were around us, they were around someone who had been around God.
May Christ in us lead us to resist the tendency of our flesh to be filled with pride. May we reflect His life and demonstrate a heart and life of humility.
In conclusion, take some time to read and reflect on the following questions:
- Are you prioritizing unhurried time alone with God on a daily basis? See Psalm 46:10
- Does your confidence rest in who Christ is in you or in your own abilities? See Galatians 6:14, 2 Corinthians 5:17
- Does the word “humble” describe how you relate to other people? See Philippians 2:5