Verse: Ephesians 4:2
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
Humility has never been my strong suit. To be honest it’s kind of been a confusing subject for me. False humility vs true humility…being able to take a complement vs feeling bad about yourself. So basically don’t be a sore winner or a sore loser. Right? I can do that. But wait, how did Jesus demonstrate humility. Philippians 2:8 says: “After He [Jesus] was found in outward appearance as a man, He humbled Himself [still further] by becoming obedient [to the Father] to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Obedience, death…this sounds a little more complicated then just “don’t be a jerk”.
The more I study the life of Jesus the more I’ve realized I’m actually quite vain and self absorbed. For example I tend to judge situations and people quite harshly. I have very strong ideals and expectations for myself and impose them on others. I also like to think I’m doing better than those around me. Compare and compete. Really at its very root, it’s pride. That’s my old nature default. (Stay tuned because we’ll talk about old nature vs new nature soon in verse 24.)
Being humble isn’t something you can muster up on your own. Believe me, I’ve tried. It can only come from a heart changed by Jesus and empowered by the Holy Spirit.
Love is the opposite of pride. It’s seeing others instead of yourself. What if when I walked into a room I asked the Holy Spirit who or what to notice? Instead of being worried about how people view me, instead of being preoccupied with my children’s behavior, instead of being distracted with my phone…What if I prayed for the Holy Spirit to guide me in that moment? I believe that would look like being surrendered to Him, grounded in His love, secure in my identity, and moved by compassion for those around me. That would look like “running towards the mess and the hurt”, as Christian put it, and bearing with them.
Jesus please forgive us for when we have been prideful. Help us to encourage and help one another. Let us live out love not just profess it. Empower us with your Holy Spirit to have humility, gentleness, patience and love.
Author: Michela Brownell