22 Ways To Humble Ourselves

Christians should be the most humble people on earth.

We should be so because we have come to know something of God’s infinite greatness and our own unworthiness before him. Here are some reasons why we should humble ourselves before God and some suggestions on how to do it.

Why we should humble ourselves

– Because Christ was humble and we should imitate him.
– So that God can exalt us as he sees fit. “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” James 4:10
– Because “God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). We shouldn’t need any more reasons than this. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want God resisting me and I need all the grace I can get.
– Because there is safety in humility. Pride comes before a fall – the humble are less likely to fall, and if they do they don’t have as far to fall.

How to humble ourselves

– Contemplate the infinite greatness of God
– Consider your innumerable sins against God and the unbelievable mercy he’s poured out on you
– Contemplate your human frailty. Your every breath and heartbeat, your eyes, ears, strength, and mental health are all from God. He could remove them at any time.
– Contemplate your complete inability to control a single thing in this life.
– Realize that every good thing, talent and gift you have is a gift from God which he could remove at any time.
– Contemplate that if God did not keep you from sin you’d plunge headlong into it
– Confess your sins and temptations to God and others
– Ask forgiveness of those you sin against, even if they sinned against you first. Even if they don’t ask your forgiveness in return.
– Be quick to listen and slow to share your own opinions
– Don’t be so sure you’re right all the time
– Consider that there are multitudes far more gifted and godly than you are
– Cultivate thankfulness
– Contemplate your many areas of weakness – share them with others
– Realize you’re dispensable. If you died today, things would go on just fine without you.
– Realize that the things that bother you about others may be things you do as well
– Invite constructive criticism.
– Serve others. Wash others’ feet. Take on lowly jobs in your church.
– Take an interest in others. Consider others more important than yourself.
– Pray.  Prayer is an act of dependence and humility.
– Ask for help, wisdom and prayer from others.
– When others compliment you, thank them, then give all the glory to God in silent prayer.
– Rejoice when others are promoted, praised or honored.

What would you add?

P.S. I’ve got to add one more.  Probably the most important one:

–Regularly contemplate the cross.  Nothing should humble us more than the perfect, sinless, Son of God willingly pouring out his life to rescue those who hated him and rebelled against him.

Comments

  1. Eric grover says

    Mark, thank you for living this out consistently for us over decades. What you describe would seem impossible if I hadn't seen someone who actually was living this out.

    • Mark Altrogge says

      Thanks for your kind words, Eric. I certainly want to do this and wrote this post as a way of preaching to myself…

  2. Roy says

    Thank you for this list.
    How can I keep from sliding into a "try harder" mentality, especially in this area?
    Need some "How to"s that point specifically to the Holy Spirit's sanctifying work and other means of God's grace toward us.
    Suggestions?

    (BTW… "dispensable")

    • Mark Altrogge says

      Hi Roy, here are a couple scriptures that encourage me from falling into a "try harder" mentality: Philippians 1:6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

      26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
      27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. (Ezekiel 36:26-27)

      Philippians 2:12-13 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,
      13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

      These scriptures encourage me because they show me that God is the one who is primarily at work in me – anything I do is just building on with what he already began in his power at work within me.

      Thanks for the correct spelling of dispensable.

  3. Melissa says

    I'll be sure to share this on my Facebook page for everyone else that needs help with humility, because clearly I have no need for this list ;-)

  4. says

    You forgot the main reason we should be humble – because we have nothing of our own to be proud about! :) "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights" (James 1:17) – we are nothing without him. Everything we have is from him and all that we do is because of the enabling power he gives us. He gives us so much more than we deserve, because of his perfect love for us.

    • Mark Altrogge says

      Amen Samuel – we have nothing of our own to be proud about. Totally agree– Thanks for adding your comments and the scripture!

  5. says

    I always have to think twice before I accept this humble declaration that Jesus said: "For without me, you can do nothing." My knee-jerk reaction is always, "yeah, right… like I'm a total cripple???" (Oh the pride!) Everything I have He has given. Just a pumping heart that stops will prove me very incapable of doing anything. Or a failing breath.

    Eventually it always sets the record straight. And if I meditate on it long enough, it becomes a relief, because then I can let down the "do it my way" mentality, and ask for God's wisdom and way to perform what He requires.

    Humility is freeing. Thank you for bringing it to the forefront, and for showing ways to practice humility.

    Maybe one thing more could be to "take on a child-like demeanor towards life"…. trusting the Father in and for everything in my day.

    Blessings…
    jocelyne

    • Mark Altrogge says

      Wonderful comments Jocelyne! And I really do like your addition – "take on a child-like demeanor towards life"… Trusting the Father in and for everything in my day. Great! childlike trust in our father is truly an expression of humility.

  6. No name says

    Do something good for someone, write a great blog, donate to a needy person, or do anything that would garner praise of some sort – and tell no one. Don't sign it,acknowledge it or tell others to read it, see it, imitate it. Just do it and forget about it.

  7. says

    "– Contemplate your complete inability to control a single thing in this life."

    I don't know about that.

    There's a great deal that I can control. There's a great deal of good that I can do in this world if I'd just would.

    The fact that I so often don't, is very humbling, and convicting.

    Thanks be to God that we have a God who died for and loves the unlovely…the ungodly…the un-humble….real sinners like me.

    theoldadam.com

  8. Guest says

    "Consider there are multitudes more gifted and godly than you are" seems to point more in the direction of comparison. I believe we are here for God's purpose alone, but to think how many are more greater than others may cause discouragement in anyone's walk with Him. "Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given and sink yourself into that. Don't be impressed with yourself. Don't compare yourselves to others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best with your life" (Galatians 6:4-5)

  9. Val says

    Fast (while praying and Bible study)… nothing humbles a human like being physically but instead clinging to God and feeding on Him.

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