As much as our economy runs on ambition and competition, the kingdom of heaven runs on humility. In short, heaven is a society of humble citizens.
In our everyday dealings with people humility is a rarity. Hence, humility is often misunderstood. We are hooked on the Adrenalin of getting ahead and securing our place in this world, so much so that we can’t imagine living life differently. Well, it all starts with taking a genuine interest in other beings (human beings included).
Humility – What a concept! James wrote in one of his letters (James 3:13):
“If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom.”* (*New Living Translation)
Humility stems from wisdom. The wiser we are the humbler we become. Life has a way of humbling us, and that’s a good thing. I believe that blunders, failures, frustrations and roadblocks are encouraging growth in wisdom. We learn empathy. How else could we relate to other people’s misfortunes if not through misfortunes of our own? The frustrations that we go through bring us closer together. We realize we are “only” human. We recognize our limitations.
We will grow a crop of wisdom if we open our eyes wide and see other people around us fighting the same battle as we do. We will become intrigued by other people’s stories. The bedrock of all charity work is both noticing and listening. We are not blind to a need, and we are not deaf to a good suggestion. Living this way, we reflect the lifestyle of heaven. It’s beautiful and inspiring.
Notice a stranger today. Pay attention to the undercurrent of a conversation. Follow one of these rabbit trails and you will probably learn something new. You might even end up encouraging someone – and that’s the beauty of humility.