For as he thinks within himself, so he is. —Proverbs 23:7, NAS
Before it is ever obvious, humility has to begin in your heart. But how is that possible? It is because of a certain attitude. John put it in the practical terms of loving your brother. He said, “Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble” (1 John 2:10).
Looking further at the example of Jesus’ humility, we can see that often Jesus approached people in different ways. He had to adjust to the person to whom He was talking, to the people He had to deal with, to the place where He was, and often the situation. His adaptability was obvious because He accepted people as they were. This was part of Jesus’ humility.
Humbling ourselves, therefore, does not mean making people adjust to you; it is making yourself adjust to them. Satan will throw people in your path and put people among you that annoy you and get your goat—people that are foolish, or not very clever, or not very attractive. Remember that you are praying to be more like Jesus. Then you have somebody in front of you that Jesus would adjust to because He humbled Himself. He had to do it all the time.
Just like sheep in a field, we always think the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. “I would be happy if I were living or working elsewhere,” we say, or, “If only I were married to someone else.” Let me tell you something: happiness in the external is fleeting. As long as you get your comfort and satisfaction because of the way the situation is, then it is only going to last until the situation changes. And it will change. Learn to find your peace internally. Then external changes will not alter it. You can be happy anywhere.
Excerpted from Meekness and Majesty (Christian Focus Publications Ltd., 1992, 2000).