We’re all familiar with the notion of humility. It’s not always an easy concept to define, but it is easy to recognize when we experience it—particularly when we are the recipient of this grace. Regardless, humility can be a character reflection, an attitude or even a disposition.
Most importantly, however, humility is a spiritual practice. It’s something we aspire to create and reflect in our lives. Jesus not only taught us about humility, but His example is still powerful 2,000 years later.
His example should encourage and motivate us to follow in His footsteps—even if our society doesn’t always value humility.
What does following this example mean in a practical sense?
It’s recognizing attitudes and behaviors our culture endorses and vowing not to embrace them as our own … like when someone promotes his or her accomplishments and forgets to mention those who have contributed to this success.
As James wrote: “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom” (James 3:13, NIV).
Following Jesus’ example also means being honest with yourself and trying to embrace a lifestyle of humility. Being honest means understanding the challenges and inevitable pitfalls of walking this path. True growth happens when we celebrate our breakthroughs and learn from our setbacks.
In essence, it’s a journey of drawing closer to Christ and His example.
Finally, following this example means increasing in love. By pursuing paths that promote the betterment of those around us, we demonstrate Jesus’ love. John Wesley wrote, “Humility and patience are the surest proofs of the increase of love.”
The increase of love is a transformative process that intimately changes our actions, attitudes and desires; it changes our lives and the lives of those around us.
Pursuing humility won’t necessarily get you a lot of rewards or accolades, but it will draw you closer to the way of Christ
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