Humility is not only compatible with greatness; it is the process of significance. We see this clearly in Jesus’ statement: “Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted” (Matthew 23:12). According to Christ, the act of humility is the pathway to promotion. Jesus was not criticizing the desire for greatness; He was encouraging it by showing us how to attain it! Hopefully, we all agree that Jesus is the model of humility, as He is of all other things. If this is true, then we only need to ask ourselves one simple question: What happened when Jesus humbled Himself? Paul tells us:
[Jesus] emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. . . . For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:7, 9–11, emphasis added)
Just in case you were wondering, being exalted means being raised high. In the Kingdom, humility is designed to advance us! Yet, so often in the Church we have emphasized the process while demeaning the promise, which in turn creates frustration and confusion. We must remove this contradiction from our core values and begin to allow those who submit to the process that Jesus modeled to receive its intended reward. Here are 15 true attributes of humility that must remain in our lives as God exalts us:
- We must remain teachable.
- We have to be influenceable.
- We have to be able to be corrected without defending ourselves.
- We must rejoice when others are celebrated.
- No job can be too small for us.
- We don’t always have to be right.
- We should naturally seek the advice of others.
- We actually do pray and not just talk about it.
- We must freely admit our flaws, mistakes, and failures.
- We have to live to help others succeed.
- We can’t be easily offended.
- We have to have a thankful attitude.
- We must refuse to live with a sense of entitlement thinking someone owes us something.
- We have to be quick to forgive and not hold grudges.
- We have to be confident in who we are and content with who we aren’t.