By Elizabeth Prata
He must increase, but I must decrease. (John 3:30)
I was listening to a devotional on the radio as I drove down the road. The announcer said,
“Humility is the one quality you lose the moment you think you have it.”
It’s true, if you think about it.
Humility is elusive, but keeping our eyes focused on Jesus helps our humility along, or rather, slays the innate pride we all possess.
Geoffrey Thomas at Ligonier said,
There is no other way of achieving humility than by looking unto Jesus.
John the Baptist said it well above. What Jesus did in His incarnation, living on earth among craven sinners when He is so pure and sinless … taking God’s wrath on the cross, willingly … now ascended and interceding for us daily … pondering the great truths of the person and work of Jesus … helps put our pride into perspective.
At the Metropolitan Tabernacle Charles Spurgeon preached on Humility in 1861, on the Acts verse below.
“Serving the Lord with all humility of mind.“— Acts 20:19.
It is not often that a man may safely speak about his own humility. Humble men are mostly conscious of great pride, while those who are boastful of humility have nothing but false pretence, and really lack and want it. I question whether any of us are at all judges as to our pride or humility ; for verily, pride so often assumes the shape of lowliness when it hath its own end to serve, and lowliness on the other hand is so perfectly compatible with a heavenly dignity of decision, that it is not easy at all times to discover which is the counterfeit and which is the precious and genuine coin.
But how, how to cultivate humility?
1. Look. Look to Jesus for His example of servanthood attitude. We do this by constant prayer, reading His word, and following His example.
2. Obey. Where He has revealed Himself and His commands is in His word. When we read His word, we obey it. Doing so carves new inroads into the cauldron of pride and sin we have in us. Let the Light shine not just by hearing, but by doing.
3. Avoid. In Philippians 2:3–4 Paul advises to avoid rivalry and conceit. Rivalry is pride, conceit is putting yourself above others. In that same verse we are told to count others more significant than ourselves. Jesus did not consider equality with God as a thing to be grasped, but came as a servant, serving others. (Philippians 2:7). He counted God above Himself, though He was God.
4. Serve. Jesus washed feet, even the feet of the betrayer. It is hard to feel proud and conceited from a position of service.
Humility is the hardest to cultivate, because its opposite, pride, is the hardest sin to spot, deal with, and overcome.