How Humble Are You, Really?

People who have pride don't usually think they have it.

It's a weakness we'd rather not own up to, but if we're honest, it's something we have to continually address.

Try to remember the last time you had a critical thought about someone. Was it during rush-hour traffic or in a meeting at work? Has someone been getting on your nerves lately?

We all like to complain about what someone else is or isn't doing. We like to think we'd do their job better or handle situations differently. Some little thing catches our attention and if we don't correct ourselves quickly enough, our negativity keeps growing and growing.

Critical thoughts about other people always get us into trouble with God.

One of the strongest chastisements I ever had from God came from judging another preacher's teaching gift. I made some haughty, high-minded comment about them and the next time I got up to preach, I felt like I had lost my anointing.

God showed me that when I judged this man's preaching-the gift God gave him-I was actually criticizing Him!

Pride causes us to overestimate ourselves and underestimate others-and it always has a distorted view of the truth. We need to learn how to stay balanced and in humble submission to God.

Today I want to share with you some characteristics of humility that will help you stay in balance and lead you to tremendous blessings in every area of your life.

10 Characteristics of Humility

1. Humble people ask for help. Do you tend to do everything yourself because you want it done your way? Try giving up some control by including others in your plans, and let them carry out the plans in their own creative way.

Parents, this is important: Don't make your kids try to fulfill your dreams for their life. If they're trying too hard to be what you want them to be, they'll have a really hard time figuring out who God made them to be.

2. Humble people give credit where credit is due. Be quick to give God glory for everything you accomplish-and don't forget to acknowledge the people He sends to help you.

3. The humble are quick to forgive and difficult to offend. No matter how you've been wronged, you can be secure in knowing God will work everything out for your good (see Romans 8:28).

4. The humble person is patient and long-suffering. Remember to be patient with others, knowing it's only by God's grace that you are able to do anything yourself (see 1 Corinthians 15:10).

5. The humble are peace lovers. Go the extra mile to keep peace in your relationships. Resist the need to be "right" all the time or to always have the last word.

6. Humble people live to serve. Be eager to give to others what you receive from God. Do good on purpose, even if it seems unpleasant or inconvenient. And the higher you're promoted, be that much more determined to serve.

7. A humble person is thankful. We can get so accustomed to God's blessings that we forget to thank Him. Don't take God for granted. And don't take other people for granted, either. Show them you appreciate their time and dedication.

8. The humble person has a tender conscience. If you think you hurt somebody's feelings, don't wait days, weeks or years to apologize. Humble yourself and say you're sorry. It will always make you feel better, and your heart will be at peace with God.

9. The humble person admits their weaknesses. Recognize your weaknesses and learn from them. It's always better to humble yourself than to wait for God to humble you. And don't try to cover up your weaknesses and mistakes. Odds are people already know what they are-and if you're open about them, it will help other people relate better to you.

10. The humble receive correction from God. No matter how spiritually mature we think we are, there is always room for improvement. The Bible says a humble person thanks God for correction and gives Him credit for doing the work as well (see 1 Corinthians 15:10).

The posture we take in life is so important. A humble attitude can make a bad situation good. And a prideful attitude can make a good situation bad.

It's up to us to choose wisely.