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Books for those in ministry organizations who desire to take their leadership, teams, governance, and ministry effectiveness to the next level.

15 Dec '14

Three keys to humility

Posted by T.J. Addington

Romans 12:3-8 gives us one of the best keys to understanding humility in our lives. This is especially critical for leaders whose leadership role can move them toward pride easily.

Humble Service in the Body of Christ

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your[a] faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,[b] do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

The first key is knowing who I am: "Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you." Sober judgment is an important phrase as we are often tempted to think more of ourselves than we should. When I was young I thought I was good at a lot of things. Today I know I am good at about three things and the rest of my portfolio are weaknesses.

The second key is knowing who I am not. This is actually as important as understanding who I am and what I am good at. Jesus chose to give each of us specific gifts and the fact that we have a few and not many should actually engender significant humility. I am always amazed at the things others can do that I cannot. It is a reminder that each of us play a limited role in the grand scheme of things. While I love the gifts God gave to me I also recognize how much I need others when I think of the gifting I do not have.

The third key is understanding who gave us our gifts and why. It is hard to be proud of myself when I realize that the abilities I have were given by God to be used for His purposes. If I take credit for gifts He gave I steal credit from Him. Rather than being proud, we can be deeply grateful that He gifted and wired us the way He did and that we can use all of that gifting for His purposes in the world.

We never need to trivialize the gifts God gave us which is false humility. I know that I am very good at three things. At the same time we cannot take credit for what He gave us. All of this ought to engender a deep sense of humility in our lives.