How to Become More Approachable Through Humility

Without a doubt, Jesus was the most approachable person who ever walked the Earth. He was tuned into the people on the fringes–those who were most likely to be outcast and excluded. Jesus was shockingly accessible to everyone, including people who were considered “undesirables”.

He certainly wasn’t like the other “holy men” of his time. In fact, His accessibility made them livid. That’s because the rabbis and priests of Jesus’s time operated on principles of isolation and exclusion, holding everyone at arm’s length. In contrast, Jesus welcomed everyone with open arms.

The Greek word for approachable is parresia, which means plainspoken, easy-to-understand, or accessible. Synonyms for this word include friendly and open. So if we want to love like Jesus, we have to learn how to become approachable. And one of the most important ingredients to approachability is becoming humble.

Lean into humility

To be humble is to make ourselves lowly. God meets us when we’re in a state of humility. It’s the antidote to pride, which poisons love. And it opens our eyes to the needs of others. Because when we can set our ego aside and stop believing ourselves to be superior to the people we encounter, we can become truly approachable.

Be inclusive and welcoming

A prideful, snobbish person believes that human worth is tied to social status. And unfortunately, we’re all susceptible to believing ourselves superior to others from time to time. It’s all about being exclusive, only allowing yourself to interact with people you deem “worthy.”

In contrast, a humble person gets down off their high horse and makes themselves lowly. Jesus was the exemplary example of humility and, as a result, inclusivity. He opened His arms to “undesirable” people who were reviled by the rest of society–and if He ever excluded anyone, it was the holier-than-thou religious elites.

Being humble helps us to realize we’re not above the people we encounter in our daily lives. This changes our perspective–and our actions–when it comes to being more inclusive and welcoming to others.

Be nonjudgmental

The religious elites were scandalized when Jesus associated with sinners, tax collectors, and even prostitutes like Mary Magdalene, who transformed her former life to become a disciple of Christ. As the son of God, Jesus could have arguably been the most qualified judge to walk the Earth. But instead of judging others, Jesus loved them regardless of what sins they’d committed or laws they’d broken. He was outrageously approachable because that was the essence of His love.

Love your enemies

Loving our enemies is loving without exclusion. It requires the ultimate humility.

It’s a given that, to love like Jesus did and be more approachable like He was, we have to snuff out pride and humble ourselves. However, Jesus takes it one radical step further: He commands us to love our enemies. And that, for (probably) most of us, is a hard pill to swallow.

“I tell you,” Jesus says, ‘love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you.”

Instead of getting even with our enemies, Jesus wants us to love them. He asks that we turn the other cheek when we’re hurt. And He even expects us to go above and beyond in our kindness to them. It’s not human nature, but it’s the nature of God. And with a generous dose of humility, it’s possible to show love to people who have caused us harm.

Want to know more about how you can love like Jesus?

Love Like That takes a deep dive into the love of Jesus–and how we can love more like Him. Order your copy here!

How will you make yourself more approachable in the coming weeks? Months? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.


  • Donna J Cherry says:

    This is good. However what do you do if you aren’t led to leave a job situation yet experience being shamed and accused constantly…where is the boundry line?

    • Stephen Atwood says:

      Unfortunately there is no boundary line unless you are in danger, then you appeal to their authority for protection. Your witness is speaking volumes around you who are seeing any injustice, even your adversary is seeing this. Stand strong, get wise counsel and stay the course. Listen to the Holy Spirit in regard to leaving or staying. Pray and recruit a prayer partner.

  • Alene says:

    Love you guys and have never left a reply before. BUT…. just read your blog piece above and I want to mention that Judaism was not operating on “principles of isolation and exclusion, holding everyone at arm’s length”. It is very clear from the beginning that God was and is for everyone. There was not Jew or Gentile when they crossed the Red Sea. His plan as shown to Moses was for ALL who believe in the One True God. This group of first believers was made up of descendants of Abraham (Father of the Jews) and descendants of Ham, Noah’s son (Father of the Arabic people).

    Even in Jesus day anyone could join the people of God. In truth many did not want to change from their pagan ways, but they did not have to be genetically connected to the Jewish people to believe. In reality, the Gentiles rejected God, and the Jewish leaders did not allow them into the community per God’s law as given to Moses. They were unclean. But, they could have joined God’s people if they had wanted to.

    Yes, Jesus was different from any of the leaders. He did go to the outcast, the lame, and the non-believer. He opened the eyes of the people to see that the same God is still waiting for them to return and follow Him. And, as we know, Jesus became our (and their) blood redeemer, and we no longer needed the blood of animal sacrifices.

    Please note, I am writing this solely to point out another fallacy regarding Judaism that can be used to encourage Anti-Semitism. Please be careful. Too much hate in the world as it is.

  • Rita Francesco says:

    Donna, it is extremely difficult to deal with a situation like that. I would certainly pray, pray, pray. I would keep a log what is happening. Do you have a human resource officer you can talk to? Do you have a supervisor or a supervisor of a supervisor to whom you can talk: brief and explaining the situation from your point of view? I have been in very difficult job situations, I tried to keep distant/ and kept a somewhat different time schedule. I do not know if your job allows you this flexibility. In my situation the person that caused me the great stress eventually left after several years . You should not feel that you have to be the doormat. Also pray for a different job, if God opens doors than you take that new job. You have to stand up for your rights, you have to try to be fact specific in your responses. And openly say this accusation is wrong and it causes you pain. When other people shame you and accuse you wrongly and use you for their “dirty entertainment”, this is indeed very bad and shows the low character of this crowd. I pray for you. I am myself in a situation where I am blamed a lot, however, after lots of tears and praying and trying to understand the other person, I have to come to the conclusion: I will tell the truth because Jesus says: Love your neighbor as yourself. If I do not stand up and fight the good fight I do not advance the kingdom of God. Prayers and Blessings to you. Rita

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