21 Practical Steps in Seeking Humility and Countering Pride

Let not the foot of pride come upon me. (Psalm 36:11)

1 ) Purposely seek humility.
Don't just let it come. Seek it. We are commanded to be humble so I should prize this character rather than adore it as some distant trophy.

2 ) Confess your sins to God and others quickly.
Humility rides on the back of confession. And confession rides on the back of honesty. Without complete honesty, I am deceiving myself and others but never God. I might perceive myself as humble but am not as long as I am not honest. Confession is honest admission of our faults.

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3 ) Keep a spiritual journal, daily if possible.
There is no better way to keep track of what one is thinking than to write down one's thoughts. Yes, it takes up valuable time, but the value is tremendous. I do not now keep a daily journal. I try to write once a week, but if any significant thought or conflict comes up, I try to write it down. Spiritual journals help keeps one honest as well as clarifies the real issues I face. I can see my fears. I can sense the tension I might have with another.

4 ) Have a good spiritual partner.
The better I can trust someone, the more I can honestly share with them. These relationships are crucial. My wife is my best partner. I have prayed that the Lord would keep my wife growing with me. He has answered that prayer. We share and pray each night. I don't hold back anything from her unless it is a matter of someone else's privacy. It sure is a good motivator not to think wrongly! But other friends are invaluable to a healthy growing life. At times, the Lord has taken me to the desert as Paul to be with Him alone. But this is only for a certain shorter period.

5 ) Start praising others.
By this, I do not mean to flatter people -praise those vain things like dress and looks. Look at others as God's precious gifts to you. You and I cannot do without them. As we see the importance of others around them, we will thank them and praise them. Our compliments will become real.

6 ) Carefully listen to others when they are going through humbling times.
I figure that part of the humble experiences I go through are because I have not learned from the cues God has earlier given to me. We will need to go through humble times of course but why increase them! Pay attention to lessons God is teaching others. Self-examination can greatly increase our wisdom.

7 ) Live as if you cannot live without those near you.
We are interdependent creatures. We need each other. The church is His body. We are members of one another. Because of this, we love one another. We treasure one another. We will assume the best of each other (1 Corinthinans 13). This attitude is crucial for good brotherly leadership.

8 ) Don't criticize others as if you haven't sinned
One day we will judge with Christ but right now it is best that each time we see another sin, we remember when we have sinned in a like way, or even in a worse way. Then pray for God's grace for that man or woman.

9 ) Thank God for sickness
We don't like being sick, but it sure does humble us. In a moment, our great dreams are turned to dust. We just want to live. But is this not a truer picture of ourselves than the pompous one where we consider ourselves invaluable?

10) Accept the fact that God can accomplish His plan without us
Any moment the Lord can take us home, and He will not at all be frustrated in accomplishing His good and perfect will. We are not invaluable in such and such a plan. He might have no such plan or have someone play that part.

11) Accept death's limitation
Death is coming quickly. Our life here on earth is but temporary. We will not be able to finish our life plans. Or worse, we will forget it and find it unimportant to us. How we do our work is much more important than the work we do.

12) We will soon be forgotten.
There will be someone who probably remembers you for a while. But after a generation or two and your name will be lost in the myriads of lists. What counts is how you live with others.

13) All given from above
We have nothing that has not been given from above. I usually tamper this statement by saying we have nothing good that has not been given from God (John 3:27; James 1:27). We are humbled by seeing that we are vessels or stewards rather than some creator of good.

14) Spiritual gifts are distributed by the Spirit
I might be greatly used of the Lord because of my spiritual gifts, but these were given to me from God. If He would withdraw them, then I could do nothing. Spiritual gifts are a reminder that I will be held to a higher standard than others in certain areas. (Exodus 36:1)

15) Plead for daily grace and favor
I try to get an accurate picture of myself by seeing myself this day without God and His favor and then with it. Without it, I would wither and perish. With His favor, I would be a totally blessed person. We often forget the goodness of God's grace (Psalm 90:17).

16) Get closer to God
I only need to draw an inch closer to God and my weaknesses, frailties become very apparent. And this is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. (1 John 1:5).

17) Study God's Word
By examining God's Word, we can come closer to God. We expose ourselves to God's precious truths, and they teach us His way. We see our ignorance of His ways. "Thou hast ordained Thy precepts, That we should keep them diligently." (Psalms 119:4). Read how Josiah the King discovered the scriptures and what happened.

18) Check our fervency level
Sometimes we think we do well when we have not given our all. Jesus' summary of the commandments does it well. Have I loved God with all my heart, all my soul, all my strength? Don't just ask yourself if you pray each day, but whether you pray fervently each day.

19) Examine yourselves
Read through Revelations 2-3 where Jesus examines each of the churches. What good and bad would He say about you and the church you attend?

20) Fast
Go without food and you will better feel your dependency upon God. You will more quickly awake you to how fragile of a creature we really are.

21) Pray for God's double blessings on those around you.
When we seek another's good, then we can not despise them. We begin to seek their good and treat them nice. By thinking nicely of others, we will not puff ourselves up over them. Love is not proud. "Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant."(1 Corinthians 13:4).

Humble, not Proud: A Biblical series on Humility

The Pattern of Humility Moses & Humility
Kinds of Humility Pride replaced with Humility
Jesus, Pioneer of Humility Humility in Ministry
Humility and Leadership Steps towards Humility
Dying to Self Testimonies on Humility
The Godly Man Series: Pure heart, not Divided, Righteousness not compromise, Fear God not fear man, Goodness and Contentment, Waiting upon God, Faith and unfaithfulness, Truth not deception, Love not lusts, Grace and graciousness
Righteousness, not Compromise
Grace and Graciousness
Truth, Not Deception Faith and Faithfulness
Goodness and Contentment Fear God, Fear not Man
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Biblical Foundations for Freedom

Paul J. Bucknell