“The virtue of humility is thought to be the foundation of all other virtues. Humility comes from the same root word as human, one that means earth or ground, the substance of our bodies’ origin and ultimate decay. To have humility, then, is to understand our origins and our place in the world, to have an accurate sense of who and what we are. Thus, virtuous humility isn’t just a matter of acknowledging our limitations and weaknesses; it is recognizes gifts and strengths, too. Humility is an accurate assessment of oneself in relation to the world and to God” (Prior, Karen Swallow, “The Art of Virtuous Reading,” Christianity Today, January/February 2019, 37).
No wonder the Bible calls us to be humble. Consider these verses:
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience (Colossians 3:12).
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves (Philippians 2:3).
Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” (1 Peter 5:5).
These verses remind me of that classic acronym for JOY we need to always keep in mind as we set priorities in our lives. We need to always remember that the hierarchy for us as Christians is: Jesus, Others and then Yourself. Prioritizing our lives in this way is the only way for us for find true happiness and joy in its purest sense. Putting Jesus first makes us remember that life is not about us; it is about him. And putting others before ourselves reminds us that life is all about serving those around us with the gifts that God has given us, not just serving ourselves.
Humility is not about putting ourselves down, but seeing that our place is to lift up Christ and others, who, in turn, lift us up. Find joy in being humble this week.