humility: one word and a whole life

And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross! Philippians 2:8, NIV

By Tami Heim

Inspired by Alece, at Grit & Glory, 2011 started with a one-word non resolution: Humility. As Christmas approaches and reflections on this past year begin to accumulate, people around the world celebrate the Breath of Heaven coming down to earth. God sends His Son and the world’s first introduction to the long awaited Saviour is a baby sleeping in a manger. Announced by prophets centuries before His birth, He arrives as our only Way, Truth, and Life. Every step, word, and action is marked with humility and testifies to the great love of the Father. That one word, humility, reflects His whole life.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

– Philippians 2:5-7, NIV

Scripture challenges us to have the same mind as Christ and to follow His humble example. What does it look like when we do? What is it that God truly expects of each of us? The prophet Micah kept it simple.

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

~ Micah 6:8, NIV

Walk humbly. Those two words alone come packaged in layers of meaning and have stuck to my heart throughout this year. As I sort through them, I learn more about what humility looks like in this life we’re called to live.

This past year, God deposited me deep between the folds. He opened the door to living and experiencing new and hard places. I’ve found it’s in those places He reveals the significance of counting it ALL joy. Whenever I choose joy, He faithfully keeps me in sync with the beat of His heart. Now, as the year comes to a end, I long even more for the utter relief of holiness. More of Him. Less of me.

Whether it’s online or off, these are the things I must live out as I walk the humble road home:

1. Be grateful. Look at the world with wide-eyed wonder and appreciate the places where goodness and grace abound. Bundle words of thanks as a gift to those you love. Offer a song of praise in both the easy and hard places. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:17)

2. Keep an open heart. Accept your weakness and trust God to bridge the gaps. Recognize your gifts and talents, not your own ability. Be eager to receive in love when truth is spoken to you.  Wrap the feedback you give others in tenderness. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. (Colossians 3:9-10)

3.  Take ownership. Look in the mirror, not out the window when things go wrong. Be quick to apologize and seek forgiveness. Own what you do and do well what you own. Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, (2 Peter 1:10)

4.  Be content. Focus on where you are right now and don’t get uptight. Carry the burden for those that have less and celebrate those that have more. Accept that the season you are in as exactly where God wants you to be. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)

5.  Affirm others. Share the good you see in others that they may not be able to see in themselves. Value people and let them know they matter to you.  Create new possibilities and always believe the best. Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel,(Philippians 1:27)

6.  Receive and give grace. Embrace the mercy and grace allotted for you each day, and then give them both away. Know there’s not a mistake you can make that God hasn’t already covered.  Remember that same grace covers your neighbor, too. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. (Isaiah 43:2)

7.  Extend forgiveness. Forgive offenses as soon as they happen. Expect nothing and give everything, no matter how much others think you’ve been wronged. Strive to understand before you’re understood.  Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. (Colossians 3:13)

8.  Serve others. Be quick to help even when it’s not convenient. Offer your best to improve someone’s ideas or situation and ‘gift’ him or her the credit for it. Make following first be the way you lead. Do everything you do all for Him. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.(Colossians 3:23,24)

9.  Keep learning. Admit what you don’t know and allow people to pour into your life. Let all you learn bless and be a blessing to others. Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know (Jeremiah 33:3)

10. Display kindness. Approach each day with gentleness and generosity. Find unexpected ways to surprise and bring delight. Give in secret what only you can give. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. (Romans 12:10,11,13)

What other ways do you see humility lived out in every day life?

Do you think there’s a difference in how it appears online?

Post/Tweet this:

Humility opens the door and enables your heart to follow closely where the Spirit leads. #LiveSticky

BTW – My one word for 2012: Revelation…

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  • http://www.gritandglory.com/ Alece

    LOVE this!

  • Tami Heim

    Thanks for the inspiration and encouragement, @gritandglory:disqus It’s been quite a year. Grateful I could start the year and end it here in Haiti. There’s no better place to learn the depth and width of humility. Love you, friend.

  • http://sandysandmeyer.wordpress.com/ Sandy

    Thinking of you today and hoping we can do it together in 2012.  I sowed into another woman’s mission trip to Haiti and she begins her journey to Haiti tomorrow.  I told her I was so jealous of her going and that I dreamed of going back again, perhaps next year.  I hope she falls in love with the Haitian people like I did.  Have a great time, @1276bbf0cf946a489f9b32e9ef606a90:disqus ! I can’t wait to hear about your trip! Love and hugs!

  • Diana Shim

    This post does my heart good..thank you for all you do.

  • http://twitter.com/Kmac4him Kimberly McCarthy

    Humility gives up “rights”! 
    Jesus Christ, the King of Heaven was a radical example of giving up of
    your rights, so others can live.  Jesus
    hung on the cross, giving up all His Heavenly-Kingly rights- humbly in meekness
    He died for us.  We seem to hang
    ourselves up in our “rights” instead of being the sacrifice our salvation
    demands.  Lord change me! Cleanse me of
    all my arrogant “personal rights” until all that is seen is Your Cross and the
    Salvation it yielded. Take the personal rights out of my Salvation and put the
    sacrifice back in it! AWE-GOD!

  • http://www.gritandglory.com/ Alece

    i love that, friend. what a beautiful gift…

  • Tami Heim

    Thanks for sharing that @google-7c14e03552c85b4876a3f1324c91839b:disqus – I’m grateful for all that God is willing to do in our heart if we let Him. #HeIsGood Bless you.

  • Tami Heim

    @twitter-16391806:disqus  beautifully said – as always! Bless you for adding to the conversation with more wisdom and truth. I love learning from you my friend.

  • Tami Heim

    @slcsand:disqus I am praying it will happen in 2012. This has been one of the most significant weeks of my life. I can’t tell you what it means that you would be open to the call to go and that right now you are holding up another woman serving in that country. Don’t worry – she will fall in love – that is an answer to prayer God grants quickly. I did blog about the last day. I will make sure I send it to you when it posts on our Church site. Thanks for joining in the conversation here! Blessings to you!

  • http://suzielind.wordpress.com/ Suzie Lind

    I love this Tami.  What a great and valuable lesson for all of us. I think I will save this post and refer to it often.

  • Buckgirl12345

    Amen that was nice to tack time out to read that god bless every one who see’s this

  • http://twitter.com/chnorton1 Charles Norton

    Thank you….once again for starting my day with love and encouragement.