Our competitive culture encourages us to maneuver and manipulate our way to the top. In contrast, the Bible teaches us that the opposite of selfishly pursuing desires is to receive humbly what God provides.

I like what A.W. Tozer wrote in an article about humility. “I have met two classes of Christians: the proud who imagine they are humble, and the humble who are afraid they are proud. There should be another class: the self-forgetful who leave the whole thing in the hands of Christ and refuse to waste any time trying to make themselves good. They will reach the goal far ahead of the rest.”

1 Peter 5:5 says, “…clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’” During New Testament times, slaves attached a white piece of cloth on their clothing so that others would know that they were slaves. Peter exhorts us to tie the cloth of humility on ourselves in order to be identified as believers in Christ.

In 1878, when William Booth’s Salvation Army began to make its mark, men and women from all over the world enlisted. Samuel Brengle left a fine pastorate in America to cross the Atlantic to enlist in the Salvation Army in England. General Booth accepted his services reluctantly and said to Brengle, “You’ve been your own boss too long.” In order to instill humility in Brengle, he set him to work cleaning the boots of other trainees. Discouraged, Brengle said to himself, “Have I followed my own fancy across the Atlantic in order to black boots?” And then, as in a vision, he saw Jesus bending over the feet of rough, unlettered fishermen. “Lord,” he whispered, “you washed their feet; I will black their shoes.”

In a quest to be humble, people sometimes confuse humility with false modesty.  True humility is an attitude of the heart that constantly acknowledges this truth: that without Jesus we can do nothing, but with Jesus we can do all things (Philippians 4:13). Humility is being conscious of our weaknesses and giving God all the credit for things we have achieved and accomplished.