Measuring One's Humility
The Essential Christian Character
Humility is the most essential character quality of the Christian. Humility
allows one to respond properly to conviction of sin, as one is being led
to Christ. Living by faith is contrary to living with a prideful attitude.
In describing the righteousness of faith, Paul quotes Habbakuk 2:4, but
the whole verse indicates that righteous living is contrary to prideful
Rom 1:17 For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed,
a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written:
"The righteous will live by faith."
"See, he is puffed up; his desires are not upright-- but the
righteous will live by his faith--" Hab 2:4
Isaiah also reveals the necessity of humility for one to be esteemed in
And as walking as Christ walked we should consider his practice of humility:
"This is the one I esteem:
he who is humble and
contrite in spirit, and
trembles at my word." Is 66:2
"Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in
very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he
himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross!"
Sources of Humilation
"To keep me from becoming conceited
because of these surpassingly great revelations,
there was given me a thorn in my flesh,
a messenger of Satan, to torment me."
2 Corinthians 12:7
In God's program to develop humility in us He often subjects us to humiliating
circumstances or otherwise provides sources of humilation in our life.
Thus our goal should not necessarily be to remove or avoid the thorns of
life. For these are necessary to some extent to the health of our spiritual
well-being in helping us develop and maintain humility, which is most essential
to Christian character. What are your sources of humiliation? Your spouse?
Your children? Your social or financial or marital status? Your physical
flaws? God has many ways to bring humiliation into our lives. What are
we afraid of? Perhaps those very things are the things God will bring into
our lives in order to humble us. But perhaps we shouldn't necessarily consider
that a bad thing. For it is healthy to have sources of humiliation.
But if you lack sources of humiliation then you've got a problem. A
nervous system reacts with pain if something is wrong physically. A conscience
reacts with a feeling of guilt if sin is committed. A humble character
similarly is contrite and reacts with lowliness and self-debasing when
pride springs up. But the proud person may not recognize pride in themselves.
And those who are not subject to humilation tend to develop pride. Thus
for example Jesus speaks of the pride of the wealthy. For wealth
can be a source of pride as poverty a source of humiliation. Indeed those
religious leaders who had Christ crucified had too many sources of pride
and too few sources of humiliation. And a source of humiliation for one
person may be a source of pride for another. What are your sources of pride?
Your family? Your social or financial status? Your strength or beauty?
Your position of authority? There can be many sources of pride as there
are sources of humiliation.
Part of Jesus' ministry, and indeed a part of Christian ministry, is
to humiliate the proud. Why did they seek to kill him? What was the real
reason? It was because he humiliated them. Yet as the great physician he
was simply giving them the medicine of humiliation which they were in need
of if they were ever to be saved.
Measures of Humility
Now without going into how one develops humility, let's consider how one
might measure the level of one's humility. These are some ideas:
Do you respond to rebuke by getting angry or by giving careful consideration
to the rebuke?
If someone disagrees with your opinion, do you demonize and slander the
person, or do you do you try to understand their point of view?
Do you read the Bible looking to obey it, with an application oriented
mindset, or do you try to read into your own ideas and your own chosen
lifestyle? Do you find that your study is dominated by trying to get around
what it says?
Do you submit to legitimate human authority figures as the Bible directs?
If you are a wife, do you accept and practice your God-given role of being
subordinate to your husband?
If you are a women do you accept and practice the politically incorrect
gender specific commands in the New Testament?
For those who speak and teach spiritual things, is your speech and reasoning
dominated by your own words and ideas, or those of the Bible?
When you hear the phrase "Word of God" do your own words and ideas come
to mind or does the Bible come to mind?
Are you generally afraid of what people think of you? (This indicates pride!)
This is generally a misconception. It is not characteristic of Biblical
humility for one to place a high value on other people's opinion of them.
The humble are more concerned about doing what is right than doing things
to make themselves more popular. Thus "the righteous are as bold as
a lion." Prov 28:1 Confidence in God is characteristic of Biblical
humility. "So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded."Heb
When you think of leading someone to Christ, do you tend to replace the
"gospel" with your own personal testimony?
Do you talk more about Christ of the Bible or more about yourself and your
own personal experience of Christ?
Do you tend to pray more for yourself or more for others?
Are you involved in regularly meeting the practical needs of others?
Concerning you secular career and ministry objective, are you trying to
make something of yourself, or are you trying to make nothing of yourself?
(Joh 3:30 "He must become greater; I must become less.")
Is your objective to serve, or simply to make a name for yourself?
The Berean Christian Bible