As Christians, we are called to walk in humility (Col. 3:12). Yet, it’s easy to get caught up in the flow of life without considering: “am I being humble?” So, I want to offer eight simple ways to gauge your humility level:
1. You do not think you are “all that”
One sign of humility is that you aren’t egotistical in your view of yourself. You understand that all you have and are has been given to you, and that you are not the be-all and end-all. You do have a healthy understanding of who you are in Christ and an awareness of the gifts he has given you, but you do not let that get out of balance. In a place of humility, this awareness should lead to joyful, unified love for one another (Phil. 2:1-2).
2. You will think better of others than yourself, on purpose
If you are indeed humble, each person you encounter through the day will not be an interruption. Instead, you will see these people as an opportunity to learn and grow. You will be less interested in telling your story and more interested in hearing the stories of others. As you listen, it will not be with the end goal of answering; you will listen with the goal of love (Phil. 2:3).
3. You truly believe that your duties are not more important than the duties of someone else
As you gauge your humility level, ask yourself: do you consider your tasks more important than the tasks of others? It is easy to believe that because these are your duties, they require others to stand in awe and give you your way. But if you want to be humble, you will not see your job as more important than another’s. Let others make that judgment; you can instead focus on keeping a balanced perspective (Phil. 1:4).
4. You see your situation from the perspective of your heart
Do you complain that no one values you or your contributions? Or, when your efforts aren’t noticed, are you more bothered by your heart’s response than you are by the lack of attention? Our hearts should throb with the same heartbeat of the Savior. He did not count equality with God to be a thing to be grasped. Instead, he desired to do the will of the Father more than he desired to change his circumstances (Phil. 2:6).
5. Your actions reflect those of Christ
You are humble when you desire to look like Jesus. Remember the oft used WWJD—“What Would Jesus Do”—moto? Well, try “What Was Jesus Like?” to help gauge your humility level (Phil. 2:5). If you are asking and living in accordance to WWJL, then humility will characterize your actions,
6. You handle criticism with grace
My college mentor taught me many valuable lessons. One such was in the area of critique. When criticized, he would say, “if they only knew how bad my heart truly is they would say so much more. As you seek to grow in humility, learn to take criticism with a learning spirit and seek to respond with a willing spirit (Phil. 2:3).
7. You are willing to have your name left out of the discussion and another given the praise
One way to gauge your humility level is to consider how you’d feel if you didn’t receive credit or praise for something you have achieved. Hits a nerve, doesn’t it? Paul says that some were proclaiming the gospel with the motive of surpassing his reputation and adding to his pain. His response? “But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice” (Phil. 1:18-19 NIV). Thus, you are humble if you see way beyond getting any earthly credit, just as Paul was able to do.
8. Which kinds of people do you seek out?
Watch yourself the next time you are at a large group gathering. In a room full of people, who do you seek out? Do you seek the famous and cool? Do you seek the ones who can do something to advance your cause? Or, do you look for the person who is alone—the one who does not seem to fit? Jesus made himself nothing. He dined with those who could not do anything for him. He came to seek the lost. He came to heal the sick. Gauge your humility by who you wish to be seen with. And as you speak with the person who does not seem to fit, don’t be looking over their shoulder to see if a better person is coming by. Focus on them, be with them (Phil. 2:7).