For the most part, I have always seen myself as a humble person. I grew up in a middle class family, always having food on the table and clothes on my back. We were neither rich nor poor. My father was a hard working mechanic and my mother an office clerk. I was taught to be respectful of others and to stand up for what I believed in. I was never extremely outspoken or vivacious. I was a simple girl. However, not knowing Christ personally for a large part of my life had caused a deep seed of pride and self righteousness to become planted in my heart.
When I met the Lord, a great passion began to grow in my heart to serve in ministry. I never asked God to use me the way He does, only to help me follow Him wherever He would lead me. I remember that I began serving the Lord at the tender age of 14 (I am know 21 by the way) and fell madly in love with Jesus. I began serving in ministry at my local church. I began singing in the youth choir, got involved with the outreach ministry and even served in the nursery ministry. All of which had their unattractive moments in their own way. However, nothing mattered more to me than feeling close to God and doing what I knew made Him happy. Knowing that I was doing God’s will made me ecstatic.
“I never asked God to use me the way He does, only to help me follow Him wherever He would lead me.”
Even as I began to find favor in the Lord’s eyes and He began to exalt me publicly, I still kept a constant life of intimacy with the Lord. Whenever my heart would begin to long for recognition from others I would just shut my eyes and whisper, “All I’ve ever wanted and all I will ever want is you. That is why I do it.” This silent prayer has been uttered by my lips more than a 100 times throughout my journey with the Lord. It has become the pillar that my heart leans on during times of insecurity.
As a minister, I have always feared becoming prideful. Many people long to minister on a stage in order to show off their talents. I was quite the opposite. Growing up as a shy and insecure teenager, nothing terrified me more than being in front of people. I was very much comfortable blending into the background. But that was not God’s plan for me.
Much of my ministry is public, which means I spend a lot of time ministering on a pulpit (or stage, or altar, or whatever you want to call it). I get to use the talents that God gave me in a very open way. I spend up to 3 to 4 days a week now ministering to people in a very public way. From teaching a youth bible class, leading worship, preaching and being a youth leader, my constant cry to the Lord is, “Please Lord, never let me forget that it is all about you. My talents come only from you. I am nothing without you.”
Now, I would like to give you some practical advice to help you remain humble as you search out God’s purpose for your life. Before I share some advice with you, though, it is important that I first remind you that humility is something that has to be constantly worked at. If you are not willing to submit yourself to the Lord and allow him to work in your heart, chances are you will grow hardhearted and proud. Maintaining a humble stance is a day to day struggle as you submit your desires to God and allow Him to rule over the decisions that you make.
With that being said, here are some practical tips I feel will help you on your road to humbly serving God and people:
1) Always submit to your authority, as long as it is in a spiritually and emotionally healthy way.
It is the mark of true humility when we are obedient to our parents, leaders, teachers, supervisors and pastors even when we don’t agree. This doesn’t mean that we should submit to everything we are told without questioning, but that we should seek to be obedient and submissive. Learning to trust that other people have authority and wisdom teaches us to not put ourselves so highly above others. This brings me to my next tip…
2) Regard others as more important than yourself.
You are not always the center of the universe. Understand that sometimes you are going to have to take the backseat and applaud from the audience. Sometimes as humans we have the tendency to want to be the center of the universe. Our universe. But, truth be told, there are billions of people on this earth and you are just one of them. It can’t and won’t always be about you.
3) Always keep a low view of yourself.
This does not mean that you should beat yourself down but that you should not have a higher concept of yourself than you should. Proud people tend to over exaggerate about their accomplishments and talents. Know where your true place is and give yourself a starting point for growth. There is always room for improvement in every area of our lives.
4) Rejoice in other people’s blessings, not just your own.
There are going to be times when others are going to receive the answer to their prayers while you are left standing on the sidelines wondering, “Hey, what about me?” When we learn to cheer others on from that place, through humility and patience, we end up receiving the answers to our own prayers in unexpected ways.
I remember struggling with jealousy for a few hard years of my life. I kept comparing myself to others. After battling in my heart and mind for so long, I grew tired of the fight and finally asked the Lord, “How can I overcome this so I can feel you again?” His answer you may be wondering, “You need to learn to be joyful again.” This answer definitely was not what I was expecting. I had to learn to be happy for others before I could accept victory in my own life. I had to learn to rejoice in other people’s victories and not be envious of them.
Humility can give us a new perspective about God’s plan for our lives. When we learn to focus on more than just ourselves and learn to put God and others first, we will feel a new degree of satisfaction in our lives.
Quiet and refined beauty comes from a humble, modest heart. I don’t care about external, superficial beauty. I want to radiate God’s love. That’s why humility is my crown.