“Be completely humble.” — Ephesians 4:2
The Apostle Paul wrote the Ephesians to help those young Christians know how to live their lives as a positive influence on fellow believers and unbelievers. In Ephesians 4: 1-3 Paul lists five key Christian lifestyle practices. The first lifestyle key is to live “completely humble.”
To be humble means to be modest or meek in your spirit and manner, in your lifestyle to not be a proud or assertive person and to live your life in the spirit of submission.
In Ephesians 4:2, the Greek word for humble is tapeinophrosune and it is actually a word that the Christian faith invented. The ancient Greek and Roman world did not have a noun word for humble. They did have a putdown adjective tapeinos because they looked at humility as a thing to be despised. They condemned anyone who was cowing, cringing and living a life of submission.
But when Jesus came to earth he lived a life of humbleness. He submitted his earthly life to follow everything God wanted him to do. He also submitted himself to human authorities. As a result of being humble, Jesus lived a perfect life.
Upon seeing how Jesus lived a perfect humble life, early Christians declared humility is how Christians are to live their lives. The humbleness way of life comes from us setting our life beside the life of Jesus Christ and in the light of the demands of God on us. When we place ourselves next to Jesus we see our weakness, our selfishness, our failure in work and our weakness in ministry, then we are humbled Christians.
Ancient Greeks did not like a humble lifestyle. Ancient Romans did not like a humble lifestyle. Currently non-Christians do not like a humble lifestyle, but we Christians are to live our lives as humbled people.
The first lifestyle key is for Christians to live life as humble people of the Christian faith. Are you willing to practice this Lifestyle Key One — to be completely humble?
Frank Fain is director of educational services at The Baptist Home in Arcadia Valley, Mo. The 55+ Adult column is a regular feature of Word & Way.
See the entire Lifestyle Keys series: