by Karina Allen
Humility is one of those tricky topics to maneuver through. We aim to be humble in life, but the moment we think of ourselves as humble, we’re not, right?
The definition of humble is “having or showing a modest or low estimate of one’s importance” [Oxford Dictionaries. com]. I’m not saying that we should be self-deprecating or live life in condemnation.
In my life, I can only address what friends and others have spoken over me. I have heard that I am humble. I’m not sure if it’s because I truly am or because I tend to be more comfortable in the background. And to top it off, one of my love languages is acts of service.
I grew up with no one ever telling me they believed in me or that I could be anything I wanted to be. All I ever heard was that I wasn’t good enough, that I would never amount to anything. Those words still ring loud in my memory. So, of course, I became used to slinking back and putting others before me. Needless to say, that was not humility.
Too often, we let others dictate how we live and how we view ourselves and how we let others treat us. This verse in Philippians plainly spells out the way we ought to view ourselves and how we are to live:
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:3-8)
Humility is best developed in the secret place.
One of the aims of this Christian life is to be the manifest presence of God on the earth. How do we do that? We model Christ, who was God wrapped in flesh. He came. He came humbly, bowed low and ready to serve. This does not come naturally to us, although we are made in His image. The absolute only way to become like Christ is to camp in His presence. It is there that He molds our hearts to conform to His. As we delight in Him, He changes our desires to align with His. We begin to love what He loves and our hearts begin to break for what breaks His. We grow in our love and affection for Him because He first loved us. And remarkably, we begin to view others as He views them – as dearly beloved, chosen and worthy of redemption.
Humility is best displayed in community.
As I mentioned earlier, dear friends and even strangers have mentioned that I’m humble. I don’t ever want to get caught up in that, but I do want to know when I am on the right track or when I am missing the mark. That can only happen in the context of community. All that God is developing inside of us – in the secret place – is tried in community. Mind you, community is hard and messy and awkward, but it is one of the most beautiful aspects of our Christian life. It is the very heartbeat of God. It is where we give and sacrifice until we feel it. It is where we are often pushed out of our comfort zones, and we are sometimes inconvenienced. It is where our motives are tested and our humility is proven authentic.
How could we not count others as better than ourselves when we view them through the lens of Christ? It is impossible! So, we step forward in our identity as children of God and we encourage and lift up and cheer on those around us. We look past the natural and see into the potential God has placed on the inside of them. Then, we get the greatest joy of watching the Holy Spirit do what only He can do by walking in humility and being able to call out the gold in their lives.
Karina Allen believes that every woman has a Godsized dream on the inside of them and it is up to an encouraging community to help nurture that dream. Her goal in writing is to see women get a revelation of God’s Word and discover how to apply it to their lives in order to walk in freedom and live the life that God intended. But the most important thing to her is to live out the call of Isaiah 26:8…For His Name and His Renown are the desire of our souls! You can connect with her at “For His Name and His Renown.”