How to; 10 Steps to Attaining Humility.
Now Moses was more humble than any other person on earth. – Num.12 Vs 3
We all, as humans have the need to be relevant. We all want the feeling of importance, we want to be accepted, valued, loved.
I heard recently that besides food, shelter and clothing, self-esteem (from being loved by family, personal achievements etc) is also a basic need for humans. Because of this desire to feel valued, we could forfeit moral principles (eg humility) and engage in demeaning (even prideful) actions.
Or in the words of the late iconic evangelist, Dr Myles Monroe;
Many individuals have sacrificed excellent reputations and years of character-building lifestyles for the sake of advancement to a desired position, or a place of recognition in their society or workplace, (or personal gratifications) so they could feel important.
In essence, this deep desire and drive for a sense of importance, significance and relevance is the cause and the motivator of all human behaviour and conflict. Yet this desire is NOT a negative thing.
One way or another we all have issues with ego. They come in different shapes and sizes, some people are more egoistic than others. People lie, cheat, do demeaning things to increase, maintain and defend their ego. I did that, and I’ll tell you the story in a jiffy.
Everyone has the capacity for pride.
Every human being has the “tendency” to get puffed up and gloat when we achieve certain things or reach certain heights. We all have the tendency for pride.
I never really knew I had this tendency until I exhibited it a few years ago. I’m quite good in school, so when my teachers and fellow students hail me on a work well done I smile but deep inside I feel so proud of myself and I really think I’m better than others.
When I fail an exam or test, I feel the urge to defend my ego, and debase my character with lies.
There’s a thin line between confidence and pride.
The proud don’t compliment people, especially when they do things better than them. They could get jealous even. Sometimes I’d lie to keep up my ego.
I don’t succumb to peer pressure, I’m strong like that 😉😌. I don’t think I ever have. If I have I can’t remember. If you remember me succumbing, please remind me or mention it in the comment box below. Though there was an exception.
About a year ago in my hostel, we were discussing girlfriends and I said I don’t have one, and I don’t see the reason to have one right now. They said I was too shy to ask a girl out. Some said I was gay. I felt like a chicken. Yet, all that wasn’t true. I’ve had opportunities to have a girlfriend but I didn’t want to. I also think “most guys” date for the wrong reasons – sex. That a blog for another day.
Anyways like I said, I usually don’t succumb to peer pressure. I don’t get pressured or “stung”. I don’t feel the need to do things simply because everyone is doing it. Especially the bad stuff. But that very day, I felt stung and I said to myself “I’ve got to do this, I’ve got to experience this”. Just to feed my ego.
I asked about 5 girls! out on a date in one night (I’m not kidding), though I didn’t follow them up because I wasn’t genuinely interested. I didn’t even take my phone with me when I went out that night. All I did after asking them out was to memorize their phone numbers. Out of all the girls’ phone numbers I memorized, I remembered only one. I called her the next day, I saw it could lead somewhere then I stopped and deleted her number the very next day. Thank God she didn’t call back. I did all that “rubbish” to satisfy and defend my ego so that when next my roommates bring up the topic of whether I’ve asked a girl out, I’d tell them about how I’ve asked a couple of girls out. I’m not proud of my actions, there could’ve had repercussions. Thank God. By God’s grace, I believe I’m grown and that won’t repeat itself. That’s definitely not how I see myself getting a wife.
To observe and stick to the adherence of humility, the life of David is one to monitor closely and emulate. His mindset fascinates me. See what David said concerning his wealth and accomplishments in 2samuel 7.18 ;
Then King David went in and sat before the LORD and prayed, “Who am I, O Sovereign LORD, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? – 2Sam. 7.18
1Sam. and 2. Sam talk about David’s feats, wealth, achievements etc. It was recorded that David fought over 60 battles and won all of them all, 100%. He could have said it was all his effort because he was a skilled fighter and a master tactician (He really was). Yet he didn’t. He was wealthy, really wealthy. He could have said it was all his by his effort and wisdom. Yet he didn’t. Though we know his son, Solomon was wealthiest ever recorded.
You don’t need to be full of yourself when you understand what the Bible says about humility, for you know who you are in Christ. The enemy (Satan) plays with your mind and pours out vain ideas and beliefs like: “My hard work, my efforts have brought me all my success.”
My Mom is the most humble person I know. I try to emulate her in many ways, especially her financial Life.
So, because I have the tendency to exhibit pride, as we all do, and I wanted to emulate my Mom, I had to study deeply about pride and humility. I also observed the lifestyles of these role models – Moses and David – who exhibited genuine humility and were even approved by God.
I’m still studying, how to practice and have humility as a habit, I’m NOT there yet. This is what I’ve garnered so far from my studies.
Steps to Attaining Humility.
1. Pray for it.
Firstly, we should daily confess our sins to the Lord (Luke 18:9-14). We all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. However, some of us don’t do this daily, even at all.
Ask God to develop this fruit of the spirit – since we believe and have received the holy spirit. (James 1 vs 5) says …if you lack wisdom (eg direction for humility) God will give you when you ask.
Provided you ask with the right motive and you believe you’ll get what you’re asking for. (James 4 Vs 3).
2. Read God’s word and especially Jesus words (the red words) in Luke.
When I was younger, we attended R.C.C.G. (Redeemed Christian Church of God) for a while. We usually go to church every Tuesday and Thursday evening for service.
And almost every time we go to church, at the end of each teaching, questions will be asked by the teacher of the day. Sometimes the questions could be very complex too and yet even when it was complex, the answer almost always is “…it can only be solved by Praying and Reading the word of God“. This usually annoyed me. It was just too predictable. To top it off, it was the old women in the church that usually answered these questions. I usually get pissed off when I hear this answer and I’ll say “this can’t be it. This can’t be all there is, there should be more.”
True there’s more to it; listening for God’s voice on the matter, seeking counsel, reading valuable books etc. But the fundamental and the first things every individual must do to in staunch circumstances is; to pray and study God’s word. I was naive back then, now I know. Funny how I now agree with those “old mamas”.
What changed? A few years back, still in the university, I needed an answer to a situation in my life, I’ve forgotten the specifics, but I know I was on a reading plan and I read a bible portion and read it over and over again meditating on it. It answered that question and gave me clarity. I believe what we need in life are in God’s word.
Now I know that anything we ask for (that is in line with God’s Will and purpose for us) will be answered provided we believe (have faith) and ask with the right motive. (Matthew 17 Vs 21) & (James 4 Vs 3). God has given us all things we need in life (wealth, peace, loving family etc) and things we need for godliness (the fruit of the spirit – humility, power etc) through the “knowledge” of Jesus – the word of God. The Bible. (2 Peter 1 Vs 3)
Don’t mind my initial naivety, just know that the Holy Spirit is ready to reveal to us things we need in life (eg humility) when we study the Bible. Starting with Jesus words, conversations with people, actions and reactions in Luke, observe how He lived out his humanity in a humble way, despite being God. After reading Luke, read through the new testament and then the old testament.
3. Be submissive
Humility means submission, but NOT grovelling ie being slavishly nice
How deliberately do you work on submission to those whom God has placed as authorities over your life?
Likewise, you who are younger and of lesser rank, be subject to the elders (the ministers and spiritual guides of the church) – [giving them due respect and yielding to their counsel]. Clothe (apron) yourselves, all of you, with humility [as the garb of a servant, so that its covering cannot possibly be stripped from you, with freedom from pride and arrogance] toward one another. For God sets Himself against the proud (the insolent, the overbearing, the disdainful, the presumptuous, the boastful) – [and He opposes, frustrates, and defeats them], but gives grace (favour, blessing) to the humble. 1 Pet.5.5 – [AMP]
Humility and submission are almost synonymous, they go hand in hand.
By being submissive and “clothing ourselves with humility” we can be at peace with the others consistently. We shouldn’t – as Christians pursuing humility – be people who can’t accept correction. We shouldn’t also believe or have the mindset that our own thoughts are always better than the others is we’re smarter. Also being submissive doesn’t mean we should bow down to people.
There are elders, pastors, neighbours who are good leaders worth emulating out there who practice humility. Look out for these leaders. Learn how they submit their leadership and authority to the Lord. If possible, You may even want to develop a relationship with them. They could be your mentor.
You can’t submit and become ‘consistently’ humble without the help of the Holy spirit.
The HolySpirit can NOT come into you if you don’t believe in Jesus (and genuinely obey him).
So if you’re not a Christian or if you’re a backsliding Christian and you want the HolySpirit to come into your life to help you become a better person, a humble person, say this prayer with me;
Lord Jesus, I believe You died for me and rose up on the third day. Please come into my heart. Come in today, come in to stay. I proclaim You Lord over my life. Help me conform into your image as I yield myself completely to you. I believe and trust in You. Amen.
Congratulations, if you’ve just said this with the whole of your heart and with conviction, you’re a born again Christian.
Go to a Good Bible believing church near you, Listen to preachings everyday from Men of God (even from YouTube), Read the Bible and pray everyday if you want to grow.
May God give you the grace to Keep on. Amen.
Finally, on submission, let me chip this issue in this pressing issue.
People of the 21st century are much more enlightened and privileged than any other generation in history.
We guys (Men) believe in individualism, we can do it ourselves, we don’t need anybody’s help or advice. Not even our elders or parents. There’s the internet, there’s YouTube etc around to help us see clearly. Sometimes this in itself is diligence – trying to start up and do something – but it has to be done right. We’ll get into business and take major life decisions without the advice of elders, professionals and most importantly God. We don’t even read books on businesses. We indulge in premarital sex against the advice of our parents, elders, The Bible and other icons (through their seminars and their books). We’re NOT teachable, we don’t want to yield to the counsel of others. This is pride in itself and these kinds of stuff have their repercussions in due time. We’ll talk about this later, especially the sex stuff.
Almost all the girls and women today (many of my female friends included) are with the feminist movement. Feminism was introduced and moved in an aggressive way recently and has come to stay. The idea of feminism isn’t entirely bad the only issue is that some “feminist”/ ladies don’t understand the core purpose of feminism which is equality of social, political, economic rights and opportunities for both genders.
I’m NOT against feminism. I believe it’s a good thing so far it’s core focus is not deviated from. And so far they’re submissive to authorities over them (eg parents, husbands etc).
I think there are two views of feminism. Chimamanda Adichie’s views (which I think is the good type) and Beyonce’s views (which I think is the bad type everyone knows). Most people (ladies) go with Beyonce’s.
I believe the song “flawless” by Chimamanda and Beyonce made this feminist movement very famous.
“Some” feminists have good jobs and earn enough money, hence become forceful, aggressive and defensive. Sometimes offensive too. Men aren’t exempted, some guys do this too. The problem is some forceful women (forceful feminists) want to use this “Feminism” as an opportunity not to yield to anyone’s counsel and to be controlling, even in their homes to their husbands.
Feminism cannot be practised in the home. It’s a massive shift in Africa’s culture and religious beliefs.
There can’t be two captains in a ship, it’ll capsize. One has to be submissive to the other, and that’s usually the wife. It’s also stated in the Bible (even in the Qur’an).
This leads to another complicated issue, some men take advantage of this submissiveness to bully, cheat and maltreat their wife, that’s really bad. When this happens, if he doesn’t want to listen to her, she should consult a third party (eg pastor, counsellor, parents etc) someone her husband will listen to. It won’t be right for her to practice “feminism” and fight the husband especially if they have kids.
But Hey! I’m no marriage counsellor. I could be wrong. I’m just stating my opinion based on my perspective.
There were somethings Chimamanda said in the song “flawless” which intrigued me and I think those words are the core meaning of feminism. She said;
“We teach girls to shrink themselves
To make themselves smaller
We say to girls
“You can have ambition
But not too much
You should aim to be successful
But not too successful
Otherwise you will threaten the man”
Because I am female
I am expected to aspire to marriage
I am expected to make my life choices
Always keeping in mind that
Marriage is the most important
Now marriage can be a source of
Joy and love and mutual support
But why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage
And we don’t teach boys the same?
We raise girls to see each other as competitors
Not for jobs or for accomplishments
Which I think can be a good thing
But for the attention of men
We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings
In the way that boys are
Feminist: the person who believes in the social, Political, and economic equality of the sexes.”
That’s in my opinion the core of feminism. Chimamanda gave an interview a fews years ago to clarify her stance and views and say she doesn’t support Beyonce’s style of feminism.
I have many more things to talk about feminism but it’ll be later in the future, probably in another blog post.
To be continued…
Ok, that’s it for today.
Till next week as usual.
Just stay tuned for more!