Most of us would acknowledge that we need more kindness, honesty and patience but how often do we set out to make those traits more prominent in our lives? Patience is a hard thing to ask for because often the only way to develop it is to endure circumstances that require us to exhibit patience! That's no fun at all. The same is true with the final trait we desperately need but rarely pursue - Humility. Humility is a difficult thing to measure. You know it when you see it but how do you know if YOU are exhibiting it? Telling someone you're a humble person violates the spirit of the trait. It's like the old jokes, "I received an award for humility but I displayed it so they took it away" or this gem, "Humility is like underwear - necessary but indecent if it shows."
Humility is not something one can fake over the long haul. It is a trait we need help developing. We must ask God to help us submit to his ways and will. Circumstances that remind us of our fragility are great ways to get some perspective. 1 Peter 5:5-6 says, "Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another for 'God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.' Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you."
An attitude of humility is completely contrary to the world's values and to our own sinful nature. We need God's grace, the power of his Holy Spirit, to clothe ourselves with an attitude of humility as we encounter different people and situations throughout our day.
These verses say act with humility toward one another. This may mean biting your tongue when you want to put someone in their place or responding with kindness to a someone's harsh tone when you'd rather act defensively.
Jerry Bridges, author of the book, "The Blessing of Humility" writes, "Humility is not an optional add-on for the super-spiritual; it is for all believers to practice in our daily lives." To do this and to act humbly toward one another means we must start by obeying 1 Peter 5:6 and humbling ourselves under the mighty hand of God. Peter says that when we do this he will exalt us or lift us up at the proper time. No timeframe is given for this. All we know is that the one who humbles himself will be exalted either in this life or the one to come. Humbling ourselves before God means accepting whatever circumstances, good or bad, God brings our way. It means trusting that God knows best and leading us according to his perfect will.
Are you pursuing humility? I encourage you to study the word humble or humility in Scripture to find our more about it or to read the book by Jerry Bridges, "The Blessing of Humility which is a great study on the topic.