Most people, especially Christians, know that humility is important. Humility is good. Pride is bad. This much is usually very clear.
However, the motivation to be humble does not necessarily propel proper execution. Basically, what does a humble Christian look like these days?
The following is not an exhaustive list, but these are some of the most stand out attributes to look for from the humble.
1. Spiritually hungry
It’s extremely inconvenient to remain spiritually hungry for the things of Christ. To remain comfortable with your fleshly desires is all too easy. Why go to that extra prayer meeting? Why read the Bible when Netflix just updated their movie archive? Why go after Him, when so many earthly pleasures are right at our fingertips?
A humble person would not be okay making the King the Kings squeeze into one’s self-centered lifestyle. A humble person would find it the greatest honor to place his or her own comfort zone as second to Jesus Christ.
Matthew 5:6 says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”
If your heart is not hungry for Him, then it’s filled with too much of you. To revive spiritual hunger, I recommend reading books or listening to testimonies. Sometimes, you have to exit your own headspace and be exposed to what God is doing in this world.
If you want something to read that will ignite a spiritual appetite and awaken the sleeping soul, here are some recommendations
Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Leaning not on your own understanding means that you don’t live your life based on your limited assumptions and perspectives. It means that you are in desperate need of His revelation, power, and guidance. You would have a deep awareness that all your career planning and financial strategizing are still not enough. You would know that all the striving it takes for you to please people and all the energy you place on “figuring your life out” are still nothing compared to the fresh wave of empowerment that can only come from the Holy Spirit.
A Christian dependent on Jesus is a Christian that fasts and prays.
Many easily assume that they are teachable and correctable, but these traits are — in fact — some of the trickiest things to check for in a person and in yourself. Take a minute and reflect on this:
When someone is correcting you, is your first prerogative to defend yourself? Is your goal in that situation to be understood or to understand?
Do you learn even from the least of these? Can you learn from someone that doesn’t have the leverage of age and status over you?
Do you only listen to name brand speakers/ministers? Basically, if there was a minister that had no reputation and no large-scale ministry, would you be able to heed to his/her truth just as much as someone that has a big church, a popular podcast, and a youtube channel?
Are you hard on leadership? Do you have a high standard of who is “qualified” or “has the right” to lead you?
Do you have a “We’ll see.” mentality when someone tells you the truth about your life? Are you slow to apply advice into your life?
Humble people are grateful people because they do not feel entitled by anyone or anything.
A highlight of Apostle Paul’s ministry in the New Testament is his constant giving of thanks. In prison, in persecution, and even in conflict, he was always in a heart of thanksgiving with his words.
The moment you feel that someone or God owes you something, that is when gratitude leaves your life. If you need to reclaim an attitude of gratitude, start now. You can start with the areas that are most depressing to you. Are you thankful to have a job? Are you grateful to have healthy, energetic children? Are you happy to be gaining an education?
Humble people are generous with themselves and generous with their finances. You know your life is no longer your own — it belongs to our wonderful Jesus.
Jesus, our Humble King, did not spare anything for us. He gave us the sweat of his brow and the blood in his veins. Just the example of Christ should be enough to spur us on to be generous people on this earth.
Be generous with your time when someone needs an ear and a shoulder to cry on. Be generous with your money when it’s time to offer help. Be generous with the waitress that serves you, the newcomer at church, and most especially… with God.
6. Edify & Encourage
1 Corinthians 14:26 says, “What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up.”
Paul made this point as he was addressing the chaos of the Corinthians’ way of worship. Various participants of worship were making it about their own gifts, revelations, and contributions. These actions disrupted the unity of the atmosphere for everyone was making it about themselves.
Humble people care about being a source of edification to the church. They are slow to complain.
If you have a good word to share with someone, share it! If you have an encouragement, declare it! Edify the church! Drown the complaints and gossip with talks of what God is doing!
7. Nothing is too Small
When some people brought little children to be prayed for by Jesus, the disciples rebuked them. They thought the matter was too small for the rabbi.
Jesus stood up for the children. He declared, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them…” (Matthew 19:14).
Nothing is too small a matter for the humble. You are never above getting your hand dirty in the church kitchen. You are never too busy to stop for the one in need. No one is too important to do things that even Jesus was willing to do!
“…if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)