People often struggle to be humble. Listen to how C. S. Lewis described a humble person:
Do not imagine that if you meet a truly humble man he will be what most people call “humble”: he will not be a sort of greasy, smarmy person, who is always telling you he is nobody. Probably all you will think about him is that he seemed a cheerful, intelligent chap who took a real interest in what you said to him. He will not be thinking about humility: he will not be thinking about himself at all.
So Humble You Don’t Think About Yourself
I long to be this kind of person: so humble that I don’t think about humility. In fact, I wouldn’t think of myself at all. What joy! But this often seems unattainable. Once we realize that we are proud and long to be humble, how do we move from one to the other? We honor God in such a way as to create holy affections.
Lowering Your Self-Worth
A person is only humbled when one greater than them exerts their greatness. Humility can occur between armed combatants, when the weaker is dominated by the stronger; or in the realm of beauty, when one who thought they were good-looking is compared derogatorily to one of surpassing loveliness. In these examples, a lowering of self to the honor of another is necessary for humility to be fostered.
Building Your Self-Worth
Only in God can humility be cultivated while simultaneously building up the individual in which it is cultivated. By nurturing the affection of honor to God, you are able to place yourself in right relationship under his greatness, strength, truth, and beauty. Such a relationship naturally creates humility. However, unlike the situations above, this humility does not come at the expense of self-worth.
Honor God so Humility Follows
On the contrary, the one whose power fosters humility in us is the same one who speaks words of acceptance, worth, and love to those he humbles. When we enflame the affection of honor by reflecting on God’s perfection (see Hebrews 1:3), humility will inevitably follow.
Lord, help me to honor you more and more so I think of myself less and less. Amen.
David Bowden is an international speaker and performer known best for his craft of spoken word poetry. He has performed his poems all around the world for hundreds of thousands of people, and his videos have attracted millions of views online. David and his wife, Meagan, live in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
In Rewire Your Heart, David Bowden helps us discover God’s plan to overcoming sin by rewiring our desires with the Gospel. When we invite the Holy Spirit to transform our underlying affections with the good news of Jesus, we begin to break free from the patterns of sin, guilt, and determination, and discover the richer fulfillment found in joyfully obeying God’s commands.