Humility: It's Not What You Think


What does it mean to be humble?

That question can really trip people up. I mean, we all know what it looks like when a person is the opposite of humble, right? 

I remember one time when my husband, Winston, and I met another young couple at a similar stage of life through mutual friends. We went to dinner with them, and I asked a general get-to-know-you question like, “What kind of work do you do?” And they were off! 

By the time the waiter came to take our orders, we knew about their jobs, their fancy car, their money, their two dogs, and their friends who were all well-known country music stars. I was genuinely interested in their lives, but I didn’t feel like I was really getting to know them at all. Sure, they were chatty Cathys, but the topics of conversation were so self-serving.

You know how spending time with people like that can leave you feeling? You’ve probably noticed it when meeting new people or following someone on social media who lives just for themselves. You don’t connect with them because you don’t feel valued.   

But that’s not how God wants us to live. Philippians 2:3 says, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.” 

There’s not a lot of room for misinterpretation in that verse. And if we’re all honest, doing nothing out of selfish ambition is hard. In fact, several recent studies have shown that the reward areas of the brain light up when we talk about ourselves. And on “social” media, 80% of the chatter is people talking about themselves. That feels more self-centered than social, doesn’t it?  

Proverbs 18:2 tells us fools “delight in airing their own opinions.” I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen some people like this on Facebook . . . myself included at times!

But the verse we just read from Philippians actually has the antidote written within it: “In humility, value others above yourselves.”

Proverbs 11:25 says, “Whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.”

And Romans 15:2 says, “Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.”

You guys, this is good news! If you struggle with discontentment, pride or making deep friendships, the Bible has a clear solution on how to overcome it: Become more focused on others rather than focusing so much on yourself. 

Over the next six days, I want to help you do just that. I believe you’ll see that the more you value other people, the better you’ll feel about yourself. Then you can live a life where you’re truly happy for others and experience all the benefits of living a humble life.