This is the last of three columns on the topic of humility. The first two were published Sept. 7 and 14 in the Crestview News Bulletin.

As I wrote earlier, people misunderstand humility.

Many think humility is a weakness, or that one needs to grovel before another. In the first two columns regarding this topic, I tried to point out the fallacies of those misunderstandings.

Today, I conclude my discussion on humility and how, when rightly understood through Biblical interpretation, humility is truly a gift from God that helps better our relationships with others and with our Lord.

Remember, according to the Scriptures, humility does not mean groveling. When you humble yourself, you will feel strong in the Lord.

You don’t need to be defensive. Instead, you develop the ability to stand up for yourself, others, and for what is right and good.

This is not done in an aggressive way, but with appropriate strength and forthrightness. You will stand with the courage of your convictions, and voice them in a firm but loving way that will cause another to think and reply in kind.

According to the Bible, humility means being aware of your gifts or calling. We each have gifts from God to be used for God’s purposes.

Although we should avoid pride, proper humility does not mean we should pretend we are unaware of the gifts God has given us. The key is to remember that they are from God to be used to put the focus on God, and to glorify God, not us.

Scripturally, humility means we may speak our hearts directly. When God says to be humble, he lets us know we need to examine our motives and attitudes as we respond to others. There are times when we need to take strong action. Remember how Jesus cleared the temple of the moneychangers. He spoke and took necessary action in righteous anger.

When you understand and practice what the Bible says about humility, you will usually be more successful than if you are pushy or arrogant. When you are humble, you are likely to have more influence than when you fight abrasively.

Even if you don’t achieve the results you hoped for, you have the joy and pleasure of having acted in a godly manner.

So, allow yourself to become biblically humble. You will go far in helping further the work of God’s kingdom on this earth while you do.

Thanks to Doug Britton for his insights on this topic.

The Rev. Mark Broadhead is pastor at Laurel Hill Presbyterian Church and First Presbyterian Church of Crestview.