“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering”
The third article of spiritual clothing that God wants us to put on is “humility.”
Humility is an orientation to the grace of God. It is not self-effacement. We do not have to wear black and carry a solemn expression. It is not necessary to conform to customs. We do not have to look like an undertaker to be humble!
This does not mean we must eliminate thinking about ourselves. We need to think about self if we are going to operate properly as a human being. If I get up in the morning and come to work without a shower, a shave, or combing my hair, am I spiritual? No, I am a nut! Obviously, it is not wrong to brush your teeth!
Humility is not self-depreciation. It rather acknowledges that what we have is from God (orientation to grace). We did not earn our salvation.
“Serving the Lord with all humility, with many tears and trials which happened to me by the plotting of the Jews” (Acts 20:19).
“But in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself” (Phil. 2:3).
Humbleness of mind means that we have the right estimation or evaluation of ourselves. Most of us have an exaggerated estimation of our ability, capacity, worth, and gift. No one shares such an exalted estimation of us as we ourselves. We overrate ourselves. No one else overrates us. We tend to think more highly of ourselves than anyone else.
“For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 2:21).
It is difficult for us to care about others when we do not have this garment of humbleness of mind. Pride is the last citadel to capitulate to King Jesus. The contrast to humility is self-sufficient arrogance. We estimate ourselves above other people.
The word “humble” means lowliness of mind. Jesus applied this term to himself in Matthew 11:29. Humility is the opposite of arrogance.
Humility is orientation to grace.
There are a divine and a human side to humility. On the divine side, God wants us to accept the fact that we are a finite creature dependent upon Him. On the human side, every Christian is of royal lineage; therefore, we should never express arrogance toward each other. In both, humility is a recognition of God’s provision of grace in our lives.