Live a life of learning to decrease!
Being humble is an attitude of the heart that doesn’t take root into our lives naturally. It is a posture of complete surrender and worship before God and a state of absolute dependence on Him. Though God can empower us to live in humility, we can all too often forget to humble ourselves with the passing of time. The voice that beckons us to live a humble life is gentle and sweet, while the voices that pull us toward pride are forceful and strong. Sometimes God humbles us through a life-changing event and we suddenly start to see life from a whole different perspective, as if we were given different eyes, but if we are not careful to abide in humility; it will soon leave us and we will return to living a self-focused existence. Though we tend to be blind to the absence of humility in our lives, we will sooner or later find out that our lives are no longer radiating the joy and peace only this heavenly virtue can bring. As soon as we start to reclaim it, we find ourselves in the middle of a powerful fight because we are battling no one other than ourselves. Living humbly takes practice and it’s a process of learning to decrease. God will always faithfully place us in situations where we can thrive only by humbling ourselves because He is more interested in humbling us than we are in humbling ourselves. It’s important to learn to decrease in three main areas of our lives: family, work, and church. Humility starts at home, in the way we interact with our spouse or our family. When we decrease, we no longer desire to be served but to serve and we place other people’s needs before our own. Mark 10:45 says, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Christ is our ultimate example of humility and He lived His life in order for us to walk in His footsteps. Work is a place there our humility can be used by God to shine brightly for the display of His glory but how often do we find ourselves using our jobs as a means of promoting ourselves or creating our own personal “kingdom”? In Galatians 5:13, the Bible tells us, “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” Church can often be the place where our humility is tested and it sometimes provides us with a clear answer on whether or not we truly are taking the lowest place. Jesus tells us so plainly in Matthew 23:11, “The greatest among you will be your servant.” How many of us value the lowest place? We are not to guide our mindset by the example of the world but rather to allow the Word of God to reshape our thinking. Only then will we experience the fulfillment of learning to decrease and humility will make more and more of a mark upon our lives. I know it’s not easy to serve others instead of yourself, work in a way that promotes God and not you, and to take the lowest place, but these principles, if applied, can tremendously change our lives from a grey existence to the most colorful and vibrant existence of all! Joy and fulfillment is never found in serving ourselves or our own interests but always found in serving others and taking the lowest place by daily learning to decrease. We can learn to live a life of humility by making it the sole focus of our lives. From the time we wake up in the morning to the time we go to bed, let’s make humbling ourselves the desire of our hearts. It’s not easy, it takes practice, and it cannot be done in our own willpower but if we rely on the Spirit of God to work it out in our life and make prayer our place of recharging our desire for taking the lowest place, we will soon discover that He is more than capable of empowering us to decrease so that God can increase in us! Does your life bear witness of you decreasing or increasing?