Galatians 5:22-23 tells us, “The Spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self-control.” You may have heard about the fruit of the Spirit and wondered what it is and how it relates to our Christian faith.
In this series, each fruit will be explored and related to our everyday lives. Just like physical fruit need time to grow, the fruit of the Spirit will not ripen in our lives overnight. As we mature in our faith, all the characteristics of our spiritual fruits will grow as well.
The eighth fruit of the Spirit is humility. What exactly is humility in reference to spiritual fruit? Jesus taught us during his ministry the importance of humility and humbleness. He even nurtured humility in his disciples when they were arguing on who was the greatest.
We are also taught in Philippians 2:5-9, “Have this mind in you which was also in Christ Jesus: who emptied Himself; taking the form of a servant; and humbled Himself; becoming obedient even unto death. Wherefore God also highly exalted Him.”
Often ‘humility’ is interchanged with the word ‘meekness.’ In today’s society, we tend to mistake meekness for weakness. But, nothing could be further from the truth. Meekness means we are teachable and responsive in our relationship with God as well as humble, gentle and respectful in our relationships with people.
Jesus is the ultimate example of humility, showing His quality of character that was very noticeable in His life while He was here on earth. Jesus was not weak, docile, repressed or unambitious, and His humbleness and humility was astounding. Out of obedience to His Father, He humbled Himself all the way to the cross.
Jesus understood that humility, not self-serving pride, is what creates greatness, which is expressed in wanting to serve more than seeking to be served. He knew that humbleness leads to genuine goodness and peace.
As Christians, we must continually battle our own pride and grow in humility. We can express our humility through our interactions with others by opening our hearts and being more willing to see things from others’ perspectives and learn from them. A small but concrete example of humility is learning to apologize freely and sincerely.
“The Lord lifts up the humble; He casts the wicked down to the ground,” – Psalm 147:6.