How to Be Humble, Part 3

Happy New Year! What are your goals for 2016 or your New Year's resolutions? Have you considered asking God to make you more humble?
Image © Depositphotos.com/ Levranii
Today we are wrapping up our look at Philippians 2:1-11. Monday we talked about the importance of living a humble life. Wednesday we talked specifically about pride. Today let's look at the opposite: humility. What does genuine humility look like? How can we become more humble? Let's start by reviewing our definitions. Can you define pride and humility without looking?

What do "pride" and "humility" mean?

  • Humiliation - to be made fun of or embarrassed
  • Humility - to not think you are better than others
  • Good Pride - to thank God for the ways He's gifted you and blessed you (1 Corinthians 1)
  • Bad Pride - to think you're better than other people (You're not better, you're just different. 1 Corinthians 12)

A Perfect Example

One one person has ever been perfectly humble (and it's not me). Everyone else who's ever lived struggles with pride in one way or another. Believe it or not, some people are proud of the fact that they are worse than anyone else. That is pride too. So who is the perfect example of humility? Say it with me now... Jesus! Jesus had every good reason to be proud. He was God. He was perfect. But look what Jesus did instead.
As you deal with one another, you should think and act as Jesus did.

In his very nature he was God. Jesus was equal with God. But Jesus didn’t take advantage of that fact. Instead, he made himself nothing. He did this by taking on the nature of a servant. He was made just like human beings. He appeared as a man. He was humble and obeyed God completely. He did this even though it led to his death. Even worse, he died on a cross!

So God lifted him up to the highest place. God gave him the name that is above every name. When the name of Jesus is spoken, everyone will kneel down to worship him. Everyone in heaven and on earth and under the earth will kneel down to worship him. Everyone’s mouth will say that Jesus Christ is Lord. And God the Father will receive the glory.

Philippians 2:5-11 (NIRV)

Genuine humility is becoming a servant.

John 13 records Jesus doing something rather shocking. Jesus and His disciples had entered a house to have a special meal together. Usually, when guests arrived, the lowest servant, the one that was worse than everybody else in the house, would was the dust off the sandal feet of the guests. For some reason, that didn't happen this time. Instead, Jesus got up, wrapped a towel around Himself, and washed the disciples' feet. Did you catch that? Jesus, God Almighty, the Master Teacher, our Lord, did the job of the lowest servant in the house. Some of the disciples tried to stop Him, but Jesus insisted. Look at what Jesus said when He finished.
“You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord.’ You are right. That is what I am. I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet. So you also should wash one another’s feet. I have given you an example. You should do as I have done for you. What I’m about to tell you is true. A slave is not more important than his master. And a messenger is not more important than the one who sends him. Now you know these things. So you will be blessed if you do them. John 13:13-17 (NIRV)
Serving others is one mark of humility.

Genuine humility obeys God completely.

Jesus always obeyed God perfectly.
Jesus answered, “What I’m about to tell you is true. The Son can do nothing by himself. He can do only what he sees his Father doing. What the Father does, the Son also does. John 5:19 (NIRV)
God expects us to obey Him completely too.
In the same way, let your light shine so others can see it. Then they will see the good things you do. And they will bring glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:16 (NIRV)
This is not easy. Even Jesus didn't want to do everything God told Him to do. But He still obeyed God.
Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup of suffering away from me. But let what you want be done, not what I want.” Mark 14:36 (NIRV)
Still, God will help us to obey Him. The key is to keep reading the Bible, praying, and living for Jesus.
“I am the vine. You are the branches. If you remain joined to me, and I to you, you will bear a lot of fruit. You can’t do anything without me. John 15:5 (NIRV)
That brings us to our last point.

Genuine humility gives glory to God.

You probably won't get a lot of credit for being humble. People who are humble only care what God things anyway. The cool thing is that humility actually brings the greatest rewards. Look at more of the John 15 passage.
"When you bear a lot of fruit, it brings glory to my Father. It shows that you are my disciples. “Just as the Father has loved me, I have loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love. In the same way, I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love." John 15:5, 9-10 (NIRV)
How is this like Philippians 2:9-11? Do you know the first step to abiding in the vine (remaining joined to Jesus Christ)? See more in this video.
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