As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:1-2 NIV
How’s that going for you? After listening to complaints and struggles to make sense of life, this question is asked to bring clarity of production of effort. There is usually a gap between what a person is trying to accomplish and what is actually happening in their lives. Something has to change in order for change to happen.
As a prisoner (one who is bound of Christ) there is an expectation of attitudinal interaction that guides how we live with others. In other words, you can’t keep saying that you are a Christian and bear no life giving fruit and attitudes that reflect the inner transformation of Christ’s presence. How we speak, talk and think about others starts with our inner attitudes.
“Be completely humble and gentle” – the literal phrasing in the Greek is “with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bear with one another.” Humility, gentleness and patience all point to the verb to bear or forbear. The possession of the first three attitudes are only relevant as they find expression in how you relate to other people, especially people that you don’t agree with their values.
“With humility” – “tapeinophrosynēs”. This is a compound word of “low or lowly” and “moderation”. “Humility” of how one views oneself is being moderated by an inner value. In the Bible, the standard for our humility is never the comparison between other people, but rather our standard for evaluation is Jesus.
Honesty and transparency are helpful to gain a true sense of humility. As we are honest with Jesus, He will then reveal a clear view of His thoughts toward us. We are not to devalue ourselves more than His sacrificial view of us. God loves us and gave His Son for us. We are highly valued and yet we can walk in humilty.
How to grow in humility.
- Always be honest with God about your feelings about and toward others. Notice this information is shared with God and not to other people.
- When a sinful attitude arises, confess the specific attitude and ask for cleansing and forgiveness.
- Be careful with pride, it thinks more highly
- Be careful with judging, less you be judged
- No sin is worth overlooking, it has a poison that will hurt many
- Receive Jesus’ love as a privilege of being God’s child, Romans 8:14-15
- Be very aware of the words that you are speaking about and toward others, these will reflect your heart condition.
- Study the gospels and make note of how Jesus treated others. He valued the poor and needy, regardless of their position in life.
Pam uses this expression often, “preferring others as more important than yourself”. How would your day look, if this was the lens that you used to navigate life? How would it impact your driving, your relationship with coworkers, your thoughts about your boss, your spending of money or the words you choose to use?
Humility is not perfection, but perfecting the love of Jesus for others within yourself. Humility does not require a debasing of yourself, but an exalting of the value of others in your presence.
Do you want to get a glimpse of humility? As a prisoner of the Lord, we are bound to him, BUT Jesus is OKAY with being bound to US. The King of Kings finds value in being associated with us as His close friends. He wants to be seen with us. He wants others to know that we are “tightly connected”.
Blessings love y’all