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Cultivating community takes humility.

Self-importance, smugness, and stubborn pride destroy fellowship faster than anything else. Pride builds walls between people; humility builds bridges. Humility is the oil that smoothes and soothes relationships. That’s why the Bible says, “Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another.” The proper dress for fellowship is a humble attitude.

The rest of that verse says, “… because, God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” This is the other reason we need to be humble: Pride blocks God’s grace in our lives, which we must have in order to grow, change, heal, and help others. We receive God’s grace by humbly admitting that we need it. The Bible says anytime we are prideful, we are living in opposition to God! That is a foolish and dangerous way to live.

You can develop humility in very practical ways: by admitting your weaknesses, by being patient with others’ weaknesses, by being open to correction, and by pointing the spotlight on others. Paul advised, “Live in harmony with each other. Don’t try to act important, but enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!” To the Christians in Philippi he wrote, “Give more honor to others than to yourselves. Do not be interested only in your own life, but be interested in the lives of others.”

Humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less. Humility is thinking more of others. Humble people are so focused on serving others, they don’t think of themselves.

Bess Elsa