Humility. What comes to mind when this word is mentioned? Who comes to mind when this word is mentioned? Maybe the famous song by Mac Davis comes to mind, “O Lord, it’s hard to be humble, when you’re perfect in every way. I can’t wait to look in the mirror. I get better looking each day. To know me is to love me…” I am pretty confident that God is not pleased with this level of humility, nor are we endearing to those around us when we think and act this way.
Humility is one of those qualities that is a product. It is not like patience or kindness that we must make a conscious effort to work on in our lives. Humility is not calling attention to our acts of service or the many qualities that we may have. According to I Peter 5:5 “…Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” This tells us that our humility comes with a reward from God, grace. Rather than clamoring and clawing our way to get what we feel we deserve through the boasting of our many good deeds, our many fine virtues, or our indestructible character; we live our lives in humility and God will give us grace. Would we not much rather receive the good things we do not deserve (the definition of grace), rather than fight our way to the things we think we deserve?
I love Christmas. I love the songs of Christmas, the Christmas books, Christmas baking, special Christmas food, etc. One of the things I especially enjoy is the thoughtfulness at Christmas. I enjoy thinking of a gift to give someone that totally surprises them and brings joy to their face and that warm fuzzy feeling in their heart. This is what God’s grace is like. He gives us what we do not deserve, and when we receive it we are even more humbled that God thought enough of us to give us this gift, even though we do not deserve it.
So how do we go about putting humility into our lives? We cannot be humble if we keep expecting God to give us any type of grace. It is not going to God and saying, “I was humble in this particular situation, so what do You have for me?” As I Peter 5:5 says we must “clothe ourselves with humility.” It becomes a part of our everyday attire that we do not think about we just are. C.S. Lewis said in his book Mere Christianity “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” Rather than put yourself down when someone gives you a compliment, say “thank-you” and give God the glory. A humble person does not draw attention to themselves, yet after we have been with a person with true humility we are a different person. They left a trail of joy, a smile on our faces, and that warm fuzzy feeling in our hearts.
It’s easy at Christmas to think of ourselves less, tis the season. What about when Christmas is over and the doldrums of January hit? True humility is not fickle, changing with the wind, rather it is a becoming outfit that when practiced in a truly godly way leaves smiles and tears of joy. Be encouraged. God’s grace is a much greater gift than anything we could demand ourselves.