As I have stated many times before, I have identified 26 character traits that I am constantly working on and evaluating myself on whether I am growing in each one of them in a balanced way.
I also do Bible studies on each one and buy books explicitly written about each character trait. I write about the individual character traits to better understand what they look like and how to personally grow stronger in them, and to teach others how to grow in them as well.
Even though all 26 are very important, a few are critically important, and one of those super important ones is humility.
Numbers 12:3 Now the man Moses was very humble, more than any man who was on the face of the earth.
Psalms 25:9 He leads the humble in justice,
And He teaches the humble His way.
Proverbs 11:2 When pride comes, then comes dishonor, But with the humble is wisdom.
James 4:6 God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
Here are some key principles of humility.
1. Humility is social. It is not a private act of self-deprecation—banishing proud thoughts, refusing to talk about our achievements and so on.
2. A truly humble person is confident, self-assured, strong, very competent, with a healthy self-worth. Humility is about the redirecting of our powers, whether physical, intellectual, financial or structural, for the sake of others.
3. Humility as a character trait is not so much how or what we think about ourselves, it is how we treat other people. Humility is the noble choice to forgo our status, use our resources and influence for the good of others before ourselves. A humble person automatically, without thinking about it, puts other people’s needs ahead of their own.
Philippians 2:3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;
4. We grow in the character trait of humility by choosing to act humble in obedience to God’s command in Philippians 2:3. We obey God’s Word by choosing to serve others whenever we are given an opportunity, whether we feel like it or not. We get opportunities to help people, to meet needs, to be kind all day long, but we usually are to busy meeting our own needs to take the time for others. When we make a determination to look for those opportunities we will grow in the inner character trait of humility. Like all of the character qualities, it begins with a choice, many choices, and then after time that is who we become as a person. It always starts as dry as dirt duty, then it grows to a habit, and then it becomes delight.
5. The cognitive choosing to obey God always brings His blessing of power and strength into our life.
6. The inner attitude of being arrogant in comparing ourselves with others automatically gets dialed down as we physically do things to meet needs for others. It is quite amazing how that works.
7. If you want to instill the character trait of humility in your kids as you train them plan times of need meeting activities for the elderly, the homeless, or other less fortunate people.