Top 10 Ways to Practice Humility in Your Life

by Mark Votava


Humility seems to be one of the most difficult paths to embody as we live out our spirituality in the twenty-first century.  It seems Jesus lived with a deep sense of humility.  Humility is very mysterious and often neglected.  Without humility, we cannot show love or compassion to others in everyday life.

I want my life to be an embodiment of the humility of Jesus.  Is this even possible in a world of noise, consumerism and objectification?  I don’t know, but it is worth the risk to value this way of embodiment.  The religiosity of Western life seems to know very little of what Jesus taught about humility.

Here are 10 ways that I think we can learn to practice an embodiment of humility in our time:

1. Practice Honesty.  Honesty with ourselves, others and God is foundational for living life.  When we become honest and live truthfully, we cultivate a sense of humility within ourselves.  It is something that happens naturally as we equate truth with honesty.  We are always being led by God to become more honest in our lives.

2. Practice Vulnerability.  Vulnerability is such a neglected value in our time especially among men.  But vulnerability is essential in our communion with God and one another in everyday life.  Without vulnerability, we will go around judging everyone in our arrogance and miss the ways of humility.

3. Become a Local Practitioner in the Place You Live.  It takes humility to become rooted in a place over time.  Our humility will help us to make the ongoing decision to not follow the narrative of upward mobility so common in our society.  We will pursue community in the place we live and this will guide our lives instead.

4. Practice Gratitude.  Humility and gratitude are intertwined in so many ways.  Without humility, we cannot practice gratitude.  Gratitude is a redemptive practice that allows us to find some sense of peace in our lives.

5. Practice Silence and Solitude.  Silence and solitude bear the values of humility in our lives.  We learn to talk less, impose our ways less and take care of ourselves better.  Silence and solitude teaches us the ways of seeking God in humility.

6. Practice Listening.  Listening is at the core of humility.  Listening is the way of the spirit.  Listening helps us to live in community with others.

7. Practice Gentleness.  Humility is gentle.  Jesus practiced gentleness in the world.  Our gentleness is the way of humility.

8. Practice Neighborliness.  Humility teaches us neighborliness.  This is following in the path of what Jesus taught about loving our neighbors as we love ourselves.  This could revolutionize our lives.

9. Practice Compassion.  Compassion is to bear with the suffering of another and be present to them.  Compassion leads us into humility in everyday life.  We learn to see the commonalities with another not our differences.

10. Practice Living in the Questions.  When we live in our questions, we live in humility.  Our humility is cultivated because all the easy answers are gone.  Our questions push us to live more authentically.

How can we live our way into humility as a core of our identity?