Humility

Tenderness

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In view of what God has done through Jesus Christ for the believer, Paul described the behavior and attitude God expects in response.

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Colossians 3:12.

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Selfless

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“…[E]steem others better than himself” (verse 3), is the basic definition of true humility (Romans 12:10; Galatians 5:13; Ephesians 5:21; 1 peter 5:5).  Christ is the ultimate example of selfless humility (Matthew 11:29; John 13:12-17).

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Philippians 2:3,5.

All the same

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We are all on the same level at the cross and saved by the same grace and blood of Jesus.   As we humbly admit our sinful, helpless condition and call on the Lord to save us, He forgives our sin and irrevocably adopts us into His family.  And just as we humble ourselves to receive Christ’s salvation by faith, we must also serve Him with humility of mind.

Being a servant of Christ requires that we submit to His leadership, regarding what we’re to do, how we’re to carry out His will, and where He would have us serve.  There is no room for self-seeking or self-promotion; our only concern should be obedience, with the aim that God alone gets the glory.

Sometimes we become preoccupied with finding our purpose in life so we can gain a sense of usefulness and self-fulfillment.  Although we do benefit from serving the Lord according to the way He’s gifted and designed us, that should not be our motive.  A humble spirit doesn’t look out for its own interests but instead thinks of others (Philippians 2:3-8).  This is the attitude Christ had.  He willingly left heaven to take on human form in order to go to the cross – that was a selfless act of obedience to the Father so we could be saved.

Are you willing to serve the Lord in obscurity?  What if no expressions of gratitude or praise come your way?  Do you cheerfully do lowly tasks?  It’s not always easy to evaluate our motives, but asking ourselves these questions will help us determine whether we’re truly serving in humility or seeking our own interests.

Commentary from Charles Stanley’s In Touch devotional, February 3, 2018.

Serve with humility

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“True service is not something we do for the Lord, but something He does through us.  By regarding service [this way], we can have confidence – not in ourselves and our abilities, but in God, who makes us adequate for whatever He gives us to do.”

Charles Stanley

Where to Focus

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Warren Bennis, the popular management consultant, wrote in Why Leaders Can’t Lead:  “Magnanimous and/or humble people are notable for their self-possession.  They know who they are, have healthy egos, and take more pride in what they do than in who they are.  They take compliments with a grain of salt and take intelligent criticism without rancor.  Such people learn from their mistakes and don’t harp on the mistakes of others…True leaders are, by definition, both magnanimous and humble.”

Solomon, in writing the Proverbs, agreed, saying that God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble (Proverbs 3:34).  Humility precedes honor (Proverbs 15:33); and humility, coupled with the fear of the Lord, brings “riches, honor, and life” (Proverbs 22:4).

By humility, however, the Bible doesn’t mean a low self-image.  We aren’t to put ourselves down or nurture an inferiority complex.  We’re just to think of Jesus more often than we think of ourselves, and we’re to put the needs of others before our own.  Today, try keeping a window before your face instead of a mirror.

“Humility does not consist simply in thinking cheaply of one’s self so much as in not thinking of self at all-and of Christ more and more.”  Keith Brooks

Commentary from the Pathways Devotional, by David Jeremiah, April 24.

Warren Bennis, Why Leaders Can’t Lead (San Francisco:  Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1989), 118