Humility. What exactly is it? It is certainly to be desired much, because God promises to give grace to the humble and lift them up in honor. However, God himself opposes the proud. What does it look like to be humble?
It is humble to serve and expect nothing, including recognition, in return. Pride looks at who I am and what I deserve. Humility looks at who God is and what he deserves. David was anointed king over Israel. He was a mighty warrior and a great leader. Yet he still considered himself unworthy to be the King’s son-in-law. There was no one more worthy. David did not evaluate himself based on his accomplishments, but attributed them to God’s grace and favor. That is true humility-getting to a place of success and not thinking I earned it but instead looking at what God has done.
Pride thinks of what I deserve. It considers itself more worthy than others. It always thinks about its rights and what it’s entitled to. It is by God’s grace we can do anything. We are nothing on our own. Yet pride wants recognition for everything it does. God is the one who deserves the glory. We are his humble servants. We should live our life as an offering to him, to do his work.
I must serve God out of appreciation for the eternal life which he has freely given me. I am only one cross away from eternal damnation. I must cling to that cross and give him all the glory. I must live with a fresh revelation of grace which will inspire me to give grace to others. I must live out of the spirit of generosity and daily bring my pride to its knees before the cross.
Recently I discovered the Amplified Version of 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 which I believe defines humility, because a humble heart is a heart that beats out of love for God and others.
Love endures long is patient and kind, love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily. it is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong]. It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail. Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is never ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening]. Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to and end].