Do you want to be a peaceful, satisfied, and happy person? If so, then you need to learn how to be humble. It is worth the effort because God promises multiple blessings to the humble. “…God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5).
Even though humility has so many benefits, we all need to learn how to be humble. None of us are naturally humble. The Bible tells us that pride, the opposite of humility, is our default position. “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world” (1 John 2:16).
By the way, we must also guard against false humility. It rears its ugly head when we attract attention to ourselves by trying to get others to feel sorry for us. “Humility is not thinking less of ourselves, it is thinking of ourselves less.”
Humility is difficult to see in ourselves. As one person put it, “Humility is lost the minute you think you have it.” M. R. DeHaan used to say, “Humility is something we should constantly pray for, yet never thank God that we have.”
Since humility brings happiness, and since true humility only comes from God, how can we get some of this elusive humility? We find the answer in the book of Philippians, Chapter 4, verse 8. This verse shows us that humility is closely tied to what we think about. (I’ve put the command in bold, and the actual words from the Bible verse in italics.)
#1. Happy people think about what is real “whatever is true”
We shouldn’t spend time speculating about future things that MAY happen. Conspiracy theories may capture our interest, but they aren’t real—at least not yet. They feed our pride as we imagine ourselves having special knowledge that the average person can’t, or won’t, figure out.
#2. Happy people think about what matters “whatever is honorable”
The word HONORABLE has the idea of what is “worthy of reverence.” We shouldn’t spend a lot of time thinking about things that don’t matter. Research has proven over and over that older people are usually happier than younger people. That’s probably because as you get older, you are less apt to worry about things that don’t really matter in the long run.
#3. Happy people think about what is right “whatever is right”
When we think about what is going on in our lives, we tend to wonder, “How will this make me feel?” rather than “Is this the right thing I should do?” The best place to discover what is right is in the Book God gave to all mankind.
Our focus should be on the unchanging truth revealed in God’s Word. “The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart…” (Psalm 19:8).
#4. Happy people think about what is clean “whatever is pure”
The word PURE refers to what is morally clean. Impure actions are always preceded by impure thoughts, and they lead us down a path that provides no lasting enjoyment. We must get rid of immoral thoughts. Jesus said, “… Everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28).
#5. Happy people think about what is beautiful “whatever is lovely”
We should spend time thinking about what is endearing, gracious, pleasing, or kind. The Creator has filled our world with beautiful things to look at and think about. “Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these stars, the One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name; because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power, not one of them is missing” (Isaiah 40:26).
#6. Happy people think about what is worth honoring “whatever is of good repute”
The words GOOD REPUTE refers to words that are good news.
#7 Happy people think about what is excellent “any excellence”
Our goal should be to think about things that are done well, not things that are done carelessly.
#8 Happy people think about what we should worship “worthy of praise”
As I looked back over this list, I noticed that thoughts about Jesus will fulfill each one of these eight guidelines.
When you give your life to Jesus, you have a newfound love for Him because “…Worthy is the Lamb [Jesus Christ] that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing” (Revelation 5:12). Also, see Revelation 5:1-9.
The beautiful secret of happy living is happy thinking, which takes the focus off of ourselves and puts it on Jesus Christ. When we do that, we will find ourselves more peaceful, satisfied, humble, and happy.