Self-improvement through Humility

In a world full of self-improvement books and contests for the best selfie, it can be difficult to escape the clutches of pride.

But if you get caught in the trap of thinking you deserve more than another person, you’ve fallen prey to the devil’s first and favorite lie. Remember, he said he would exalt himself above God. After all, among the angels, no one was more beautiful, powerful, or trusted than our foe, Lucifer.

But pride always leads to destruction (Proverbs 16:18). A haughty spirit will land you flat on your face.

My friend, we matter to God. We’re important to him. We matter, but we don’t matter any more than our neighbor. Or the terrorist who killed an innocent person. Or the newborn baby that just drew its first breath.

Humility isn’t popular. It’s not the way the world thinks.

But we have to remember that the world is fallen, and on its current trajectory, it will be burned up with fire (2 Peter 3:7). Those wildfires that choked me on my camping trip last month, they’re nothing compared with the destruction that faces our planet.

No need to weep. God will make a new one. It will be perfect.

But if all this is temporal, then why is it so difficult for us to focus on eternal things?

You know what’s eternal? God and other people.

That’s the choice we need to make when we start to feel better than other people.  When we fall into the trap of either self-promotion or self-protection, it’s time to do an about-face.

When we’re humble and choose to serve God and others over grabbing what we want, the natural outcome is joy.

I don’t know about you, but I could always use a double helping of joy in my life. Even when I’m showered with blessings (like a brand-new healthy granddaughter), the woes of the world can irritate me. I can start yearning for my shell of safety.

Self-protection is another form of pride. It’s saying my safety is more important than the needs of other people.

The times I’ve been most content and fulfilled in my life have been when I served others. When I read with students who were struggling at my son’s grade school. When I secretly gifted teachers with supplies they needed for an upcoming unit they thought might have to be cancelled.

Serving other people might not seem to be an obvious mark of choosing humility, but God says that’s the ultimate mark.

Jesus said, “Whoever wants to be chief, shall be servant of all” (Mark10:44).

It’s time to look around.  You’re not checking out how you measure up with those people. No, you’re looking for ways to encourage their spiritual growth.

According to Jennie Allen in GET OUT OF YOUR HEAD, humility has a steep positive benefit. Humility helps us:

  1. Let go of being awesome
  2. See people as God sees them
  3. Treat people as Jesus would

What do you say? Are you ready to say no to self and see who and how you can help others?

That’s the ultimate course in self-improvement – Jesus-style.

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