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How To Develop Humility

Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.
–James 4:10

Let me share with you three quick suggestions for how to develop humility in your life. First of all, accept the fact that you are not indispensable. If you want to see how important you are in the world today, here is a great illustration: fill a bucket with water, stick your arm in it up to your elbow, remove your arm, and then measure the size of the hole you left in the water–that is a measure of your significance in the world. God does not need us; He has given us the privilege of partnering with Him. If you ever go to Westminster Abbey in London, where so many great figures in history are buried, you will find a marble memorial to the memory of John and Charles Wesley, who did more for the spread of Christianity in Great Britain than perhaps anyone. On that memorial are these words from Charles Wesley: “God buries His workmen, but carries on His work.” Remember, none of us is indispensable.

Second, cultivate the habit of silence, especially when you are being attacked. When Miriam and Aaron grumbled against Moses in Numbers 12, it would have been easy for him to come back with a retort: “If you and Aaron are so important, why didn’t you have a bigger part in the ‘Ten Commandments’ movie?” Instead, he cultivated the habit of silence, foreshadowing what Jesus would do when He was attacked. According to 1 Peter 2:23, “While being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously.”

Finally, if you want to demonstrate humility, pray for those who hurt you. If you have been deeply hurt by another person, they may not know it or care about it; you may never have reconciliation with them. But it is important that you do not harbor bitterness in your own heart against them, and the best way to extinguish bitterness is by praying for your enemies. It is impossible to be bitter toward somebody you are praying for. That is what Jesus did. In Luke 23:34, Jesus prayed while on the cross, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”

It was veteran mountaineer David Breashears who said, “Getting to the summit is the easy part; it’s getting back down that’s hard.” That is true of the Christian life as well. Pride keeps us from receiving the help we need from God or even from other people in reaching the summit, and pride also causes us to stumble after we have achieved our goals. Do you really wish for God to lift you up and help you attain His best for your life? James the half-brother of Jesus told us how to do that: “Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you” (James 4:10).

Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Survival Tip #7: Beware Of Celebrating The Summit” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2019.

“John, Charles & Samuel Wesley” Westminster Abbey,; David Breashears, as quoted in Jon Krakauer, “Into Thin Air” (1997; repr., New York: Anchor Books, 1999), 290.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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