I love Peter 5:5: God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble. That single verse, I call it the law of favor, is at the core of my spiritual operating system.
God can’t bless pride. God won’t bless pride. But if we cultivate a posture of humility, you can’t stop God from blessing, from favoring, from gracing. All I know is this: I don’t want God opposing me! So my only option is to cultivate a spirit of humility.
I’m more and more convinced that humility is a chief virtue. When you operate with a prideful spirit, you’ll experience resistance, but if you operate with a spirit of humility, the world will come to your aid. And more importantly, the Almighty will come to your aid.
The spirit of pride never wins. The spirit of humility is undefeated. You can’t lose if you operate out of a humble heart. Will you be taken advantage of on occasion? Sure. But God will honor you. Will you have to eat some humble pie along the way? Absolutely! But the net result will be the favor of God.
The more humble a man is in himself, and the more obedient towards God, the wiser will he be in all things, and the more shall his soul be at peace.
—Thomas a Kempis
Being humble is the first step to greatness. You have two choices in athletics and in life; be humble or be humiliated.
Humility leads to strength and not weakness. It is the highest form of self-respect to admit mistakes and to make amends for them.
—John J. McCloy
Greatness is not found in possessions, power, position, or prestige. It is discovered in goodness, humility, service, and character.
—William Arthur Ward
Something in human nature causes us to start slacking off at our moment of greatest accomplishment. As you become successful, you will need a great deal of self-discipline not to lose your sense of balance, humility and commitment.
—H. Ross Perot
I believe that the first test of a truly great man is his humility. Really great men have a curious feeling that the greatness is not in them, but through them. And they see something divine in every other man.
We cannot all do great things, but we can do small things with great love.
I’ve got a little idea for you that could radically impact your interactions with others. It’ll require a good dose of humility and teachability. But once you get the hang of it, it will feel second nature.
Give everybody in your life the opportunity to be your consultant once in a while.
You’d be surprised how much the people in your life could help you with your situations and dilemmas. But you’ve got to invite the feedback.
Some of the most helpful insights I’ve ever received didn’t come from books or conferences. They materialized when I asked one of these questions to someone close to me:
- What do you think I should do in this situation?
- Am I missing something here?
- How do you see it?
- What would you do if you were me?
A few caveats:
People don’t want to hear all your aches and pains, so make sure to keep it positive and solution oriented when you involve others in your situations.
If you ask someone to speak into your life, do your best to shut up and say thank you when they’re done. Thank you, and that’s it. Whether you agree or not. Whether you intend to follow the advice or not. If you launch into a three-minute defense or rebuttal regarding their opinion, why would they open up to you next time you ask? My guess is they won’t.
Weigh the words of those who advise you according to their character and competency. Don’t give equal access to everyone. Be smart about it.
Liabilities aside, almost everyone you interact with has something to teach you. Even when their motives are wrong, or their worldview is different, there’s something to glean.
You can’t trust everyone as a confidant. But you can utilize everyone as a consultant at some level. Ask. Listen. Learn. Implement.
How do we know if we have a servant’s heart? By how we act when we are treated like one.
A man can counterfeit love, he can counterfeit faith, he can counterfeit hope and all the other graces, but it is very difficult to counterfeit humility.
—D. L. Moody
I have learned that much of my spiritual progress does not come directly from God, but through my ability to humble myself and hear Him speak through imperfect people.
Humility is freedom from your own driven ego.
Humility is offering no resistance to the dealings of the Lord with us.
Humility is knowing you yourself desperately require forgiveness as the greatest of all needs.
Oh, that we fully understood how very opposite our self-righteousness is to the designs of God!
Provided that God be glorified, we must not care by whom.
—Francis de Sales
Humility and love are precisely the graces which the men of the world can understand, if they do not comprehend doctrines. They are the graces about which there is no mystery, and they are within reach of all classes … The poorest Christian can every day find occasion for practicing love and humility.
—J. C. Ryle
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