Would those closest to you describe you as humble or proud? Either is a heart condition.
Whereas, pride, exalts self with a hard heart, humility exalts others with a soft heart. Humility and humanity come from the same Latin word, humus, meaning “from the ground.” We often reference a humble person as being “down to earth.” Humility always has an object. Therefore, to be humble is to bend the knees of our hearts, first, to God, and then to others.
Paul penned a literary pendulum describing the humility of God: “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus; Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death — even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:5-11).
Paul gave the example of Christ, who being God, descended from heaven to die on a cross, only to be exalted to the highest place in the heavenly realm. The apostle painted a portrait of Christ’s humility in serving the Father (Philippians 2:5) that was fleshed out in serving others (Philippians 2:6-8), so that they would serve the Lord (Philippians 2:9-11).
Contrast Christ’s emptying with Adam, who being man, ascended to be like God (Genesis 3). Both accounts led to death, one willingly, one unwillingly. Unfortunately, our stories all resemble Adam’s. The only way to be reconciled with God is to fully surrender our hearts to Christ, recognizing that in His kingdom, the pathway up is down.
This week, take the downward path. Start your day on your knees in prayer. Ask God to reveal His heart to you as you humble yourself to others. When you first see your family, ask how you can pray for them during the day. When you go to work, bend the knees of your heart to serve others. At the end of your work day, call your spouse and ask if you can pick up anything on the way home. God will lift you up by giving you His heart and drawing others to Himself.