Jesus says in Matthew 5:3, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
Let's face it: Humility isn't a very popular word. Yet, all throughout the Bible, the Lord instructs us about the benefits of being "humble-minded."
I love James 4:6. It says, "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble." In other words, the humble get the help!
I believe humility is often misunderstood and even viewed as a weakness. But it's the exact opposite. Humility places us in a position to receive God's grace and become everything He's called us to be.
A humble person is also a happy person. They can take joy in their life and what God has called them to do, regardless of what the world thinks about it.
For instance, you may think your current circumstances and responsibilities from God are mundane. The proud person always wants to do something they think the world will admire ... something others see as "important." But the truth is we don't have to do something important to be important.
We are important because God loves and values us. Our worth comes from Him. As we receive His love and find our true worth in Him, then we can truly enjoy our purpose in life and live in contentment.
So many people are miserable, constantly comparing themselves to others who are smarter, prettier or more successful. But the "poor in spirit" have the ability to be happy with who they are.
My husband, Dave, is a perfect example. Years ago, the Lord instructed him to leave his job in the engineering field to help establish Joyce Meyer Ministries.
At that time, God spoke to his heart and said, "If you do what I am calling you to do ... and allow Joyce to do what I've called her to do, then you will have a lot of peace and happiness."
Dave is an extremely vital part of this ministry. We are a team, and he oversees all of the business and financial aspects of the organization. However, it takes a truly humble man—a man who is secure and knows that God approves of him—to be OK with his wife being the one "out front."
I can honestly say that Dave is one of the happiest people I know. He knows what God has asked him to do ... and he is doing it with joy.
What are some other character traits of a humble person?
1. The humble can always ask for help, and they don't insist on everything being done their way.
2. They are quick to forgive others, difficult to offend, and content to wait on God for vindication when they have been wronged.
3. They are patient and don't get frustrated with the weaknesses of others.
4. The humble person is a peacemaker. In fact, we need humility to maintain peace in our lives. Romans 12:16 says, "Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Do not pretend to be wiser than you are."
Wow! Just imagine if we all decided to adopt just this one command from the Bible. It's the way that leads to peace with ourselves and others.
5. A humble person knows when to be quiet. It's certainly not wrong to talk, but a humble person is comfortable allowing others to have center stage and doesn't feel the need to speak their mind in every situation.
6. A humble person sees their own weaknesses and can readily admit them. When we open up to others about ourselves, it can actually encourage and help them realize they're not the only ones who deal with things.
7. A humble person happily serves other people, and they don't do it to impress others. They do it unto God, knowing their reward will come from God.
8. A humble person is very thankful. This is one reason they're usually so happy. When we live with an attitude of gratitude, it releases joy and power into our lives.
9. A humble person has a tender conscience and is quick to repent.
10. A leader who is truly humble treats everyone with respect. How a leader treats people is the quickest way to find out their level of humility.
First Peter 5:6 says, "Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time."
The older I get, the more I realize the importance of humility. In John 15:5, Jesus says, "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who remains in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit. For without Me you can do nothing." I often pray things like: "Lord, I can do absolutely nothing without You today. Please help me—I need Your grace in every situation."
I encourage you to pray and ask for God's help. By His grace, you can begin to develop an attitude of humility ... and discover the life you really want.
Joyce Meyer is a New York Times best-selling author and founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries Inc. She has authored 100 books, including Battlefield of the Mind and Get Your Hopes Up! (Hachette). She hosts the "Enjoying Everyday Life" radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide. For more information, visit joycemeyer.org.