Living Humbly and Simply

This afternoon I was reading the definition of two words, simply and humbly and was struck by how the two words can be interchanged in certain sentences regarding life style.
We have all heard the phrases, "a humble cottage", "the humble parish priest" and "humble beginnings". You get the same idea, the same picture in your mind if you say, " a simple cottage", "the simple parish priest" and "simple beginnings". Living simply, might just be the same as trying to live humbly in many ways. You can even use the word plainly, in place of simply and humbly. But the word humble is a tough one. Humility is so against the grain of modern life, where possessions account for so much of what we think is our value. Living simply and plainly just make you such an odd ball. You have to explain yourself so much, share the why of your lifestyle. I can do the simple and plain thing, I can say we live humbly, its our choice, but to say I am humble, that's another story all together. Different creature.

I work at being humble, it's not a natural mindset for me. My ego rises like a roaring lion more often then I would like to even admit to. I struggle with it all the time. Its not something you can hide from the people that know you best either. Sure its good to feel good about yourself but that's not what I am talking about. One search through the Bible for verses about being humble lets you know the attitude is not a natural one, its work. Its surrendering. Its different then choosing to live in humble circumstances.
This verse alone tells me that being humble goes along with other attitudes, Ephesians 4:2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
Bearing with one another in love....does that mean being tolerant of those not at the same place in their christian walk ? Does it mean, not jumping the gun and judging others who are yet babes in Christ, or worn out, discouraged ? Does it mean being gentle to those who have fallen down and feel too broken to get up on their own ? You bet it does ! Does it mean, thinking more of others than yourself ? You know the answer there too. Romans 12:10 says, Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Hebrews 10:24 says "And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds". That sort of leaves out any idea that we need to knock someone down a peg or two and smiling at how much better we look by doing so.
We can live simply, plainly and even live in humble circumstances by choice but to be humble is a deep work of the heart. To be aware each and every moment of those around us, of our words, our deeds, our hearts desires. By having a humble heart, I suspect everything else falls into place.
I have a lot of work to do in learning to live each and every moment of my life with humility. Let it be the work of my heart !


Hayley said…
What a lovely post. Thank you for sharing this valuable insight. :)

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