The idea of living a humble life, while also being bold in my faith, has confounded and tripped me up many times. Philippians 2:3-4 says, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
In the past, I’ve wrongly applied this command to be humble in ways that allowed evil and caused harm. I’ve thought I was acting in humility when I chose to ignore my needs and desires in order to focus on another person’s. Sometimes, this was self-protection and not humility. Laying down my life became motivated by a self-focused attempt to keep anxiety at bay, because saying no is hard to do. It’s often easier to give in and do more than I should, because I don’t want to feel a friend’s displeasure toward me. It’s easier to feel victimized than it is to live victoriously.
So then, how can we understand what humility is (and what it’s not)? How do we live a humble life?
If we are to count others as more significant than ourselves, where do our needs and desires fit in? These are hard questions to explore. But I do believe there is a way to give our needs the attention they deserve while also considering the needs of others before our own.
Photo Credit: Unsplash/Gui Avelar