5 Keys to Spiritual Growth in 2024: HUMILITY

5 Keys to Spiritual Growth in 2024: HUMILITY cover for post

This is the third of a 5-part series on spiritual growth.

This week's topic: HUMILITY


Humility - a modest (correct) view of one's own importance, opinion, perspectives and accomplishments 

No virtue stands out among humans as much as humility: someone who is not self-centered, the person that serves with no applause, a person who notices others, a person who listens to others. 

  • Humble people are easy to please and usually have a great sense of humor.


  • Humble people do not need to be the center of attention, but are also glad to be if it serves others.


  • Humble people are good with other perspectives, opinions and cultures. 


  • Humble people are usually smart enough to evaluate themselves and others correctly. With open-eyed critique, fairness, praise, and mercy.


CS Lewis once said,

“Humility is not about thinking less about yourself, but thinking about yourself less.” 


The path and the destination of humility are given thus in Proverbs 3:7-8:


“Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.”


Proverbs 3:7 gives us 3 indispensable elements of humility

1.) “do not be wise in your own eyes”

We all have limited perspective, limited information and limited experience. 

Wisdom is to admit this and operate accordingly.

A person who cannot or will not see this pretends that the perspective of God begins with them. They believe their opinions are better, more right, and they are smarter than people who are experts in the field. Their lack of complete information does not stop them from firing off their dogmatic opinions.


A humble person

...humbly stands on the truth they believe, but also realizes they could be wrong due to lack of information or perspective.

...takes their own opinions lightly, but respects and treats people seriously. A humble person is easily corrected, but is also easy to be corrected by. 

...has stopped fighting God and is submitted to His ways and commands.


2.) “Fear the Lord,”

God is big. God is pure. God is infinite. 

God is all powerful. God sees all things, even the motivations.

This should make you a bit afraid.


Don’t run so quickly to the Gospel that you run past the God who makes the gospel necessary and possible.


A Christian fears God, but is not afraid of God. 

I fear him and I seek to obey him out of this reverent fear, but I am not afraid of Him because I know he is love, he is good. 

But as CS Lewis said, “He is not quite safe.” 


There are passages where he strikes his deceitful children with death (Acts 5:1-11 where God executes 2 Christians for lying about donations to the church). 

Don’t confuse his compassion and mercy for weakness.

To the faith-filled and repentant he is a Father, but to the destructive and abusive he is a terror. 


When you fear God in this way you won’t fear much else. You will also make wiser decisions and walk closer to your purpose when you walk in the fear of the Lord.


3.) “Turn away from evil”

What God forbids is not an option for you.

If God forbids something it is because it is evil. If you stumble in it he gives you the gift of turning away (repentance).


In Nehemiah 5, God calls the Jews to stop loaning money to each other with interest. This practice called “usury“ gives the poor temporary relief, but in the long run keeps them in poverty while the rich lenders make a killing.

Example: sexuality

Christian sexuality is between one man and one woman for one lifetime. Now our culture has suggested many other ways to “do it” (no pun intended). They have been very creative, but other forms of sexuality are evil according to God and should be turned away from (we don’t judge the world here though). 

Whether you are born with a penchant for other forms of sex or you choose it, God asks us to turn from it and be compassionate with those who are struggling to figure out their sexuality. 

Are you humble about sexuality or are you wise in your own eyes?


Example: hatred

So many Christians can be caught up in the misguided “culture wars” that they “HATE” those on the other side of their perspective.


Example: violence

Violence is not the way for Christians. Jesus teaches us to love our enemies and turn the other cheek to a violent attack.

When I hear Christians talking about killing intruders or “bombing our enemies” or saying horrible demeaning things about liberals or the LGBTQ community, I can clearly see they are not turning from evil.

Finally, those who walk-in these three movements of the soul (1. Be not wise in your own eyes, 2. Fear God, 3. Turn from evil) will not only find themselves spiritually growing, but under God’s blessing.

As verse 8 says, “it will be healing for your flesh and refreshment for your bones.”


Grace and peace,

Pastor Harvey