When people strive to ‘be somebody,’ they’re often trying to be somebody else. But look around at the people you admire most and you’ll find humility. Humility may be the most revered character trait from God’s perspective. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven,” said Jesus.

So how do we ‘get low’ and get humble? Two ways:

  1. Gratitude – a grateful heart is a humble heart. A man who realizes his skills, his position, his opportunities, his relationships, his everything comes from the Lord … that’s a man who’s well on his way to a humble heart. When we give ourselves credit for the good stuff in our lives, we become proud. We think it’s all because of our intelligence, our tenacity, our intuition or our personality. Prisons are populated with guys like that. Some of them aren’t bad people … they just hung around bad people and made bad decisions trying to be somebody or have something. Pride. But the cool thing about gratitude is it’s a choice you can make. If we choose to believe God is who He says He is and that “every good and perfect gift is from above,” then we have no reason to be arrogant or proud.
  2. Brokenness – This is the way most proud hearts become humble hearts. So few of us have the faith to humble ourselves and recognize God in His rightful place. We have to stumble and fall and inflict significant collateral damage on our wives, families, businesses, churches and communities. The path to brokenness is littered with shattered hearts and busted dreams … consequences of sin born of pride and selfishness. My pastor recently said, “Every sin comes prepackaged with consequences.” None of us can avoid those prepackaged consequences, some are just more visible and public. Our sins and their consequences become like scars, the pain may go away but the memory of what we did, what we caused, who we hurt, what we took away from the people we love … that never goes away.

About two millennia ago this week, the only man who had no pride in his soul … the only man who ever lived without sin in his life … the only man who didn’t need to be humbled, chose to humble Himself. He volunteered to lay down and let men drive nails in His hands and feet, taking the capital punishment for sins He didn’t commit. The sins were yours and mine … He took our punishment. David Crowder’s song “Forgiven” describes that moment on the first Good Friday well … “As I drop down to my knees with a hammer in my hand …” It’s painful to think but absolutely true.

But just as the Proverb says, His ‘getting low’ … His humbling Himself to be crucified was followed by honor. Jesus is the most honored man to ever live. More good’s been done in His name than any other, more lives changed through faith in Him than all the counseling and therapy ever given in all of history combined.

Learn from Jesus. Make a humble heart a volitional choice and avoid the brokenness and collateral damage from sin and selfishness. Choose gratitude over pride. If Jesus-followers will “humble themselves and pray,” He stands ready to “heal our land.” Follow His lead this weekend. Own it. Take responsibility for your pride, arrogance, sin and selfishness. Thank Him for taking all that junk to the cross for you. Believe Him when He says, “It is finished.” Accept His gift of forgiveness and respond with a lifelong chorus of “Thank you Jesus. Thank you. Thank you!” Then “go and sin no more.”

Think and Pray

Whether you’re currently in a place of brokenness or not, take this moment to express gratitude to Christ for what He did for you. He did what you could never do – remove the barrier between you and your loving, forgiving, life-giving God. Let that humble and strengthen you.

Father, help me to have a right perspective of who I am and who You are. All that I have comes from You, and my only hope is in You. Create in me a grateful heart, that I might find honor through humility. Amen.

Regi Campbell is an investor and entrepreneur by trade, but his real passion is mentoring younger men. In 2007, Regi founded Radical Mentoring to help encourage and equip mentors and churches to launch mentoring groups. He has written four books: About My Father’s Business, Mentor Like Jesus, What Radical Husbands Do, and Radical Wisdom. Regi currently lives in Atlanta, GA with his wife of 47 years, Miriam.