When one thinks of humility, many thoughts about it may come up. Some believe that humility is for a person to become a ‘doormat’ for other people to take advantage of while some equate humility with weakness, a lack of strength, a lack of vigor or feebleness. That may be the opinion of much of the world and those who do not properly understand the meaning of the word. But Biblical humility is much different than what people may think it is. In fact, there is great power in humility. Also, if you want to have favor with God, learn what it means to have a humble heart.
Humility is often characterized by a lack of pride, arrogance and a modest view of oneself. But humility also is learning how to respect and submit to God and His ways.
James 4:10 tells us to ‘humble ourselves’ in the sight of the Lord and He shall lift us up. The Amplified Classic Bible puts it like this:
Humble yourselves [feeling very insignificant] in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you [He will lift you up and make your lives significant].(James 4:10 Amplified Classic Bible)
One thing that you will learn as you walk with God is that He has some real issues with pride and arrogance. It is one of the major reasons why many who profess Atheism and unbelief will not come to Christ. Pride will hinder them from doing it. Many attribute the gospel message of Salvation through Christ as a silly fairy tale meant for the weak and feeble minded. Nothing is further from the truth. The most powerful message we will ever hear is the message that Christ died for our sins paving the way for us to have a relationship with God the Father. The very thing that burns in the heart of our Heavenly Father is to have a relationship with His creation, human beings. But to have this take place, we must humble ourselves and come to Him like a child. Here’s what the Bible says:
Matthew 18:1-4 – NLT – About that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?” Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them. 3 Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. 4 So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.
All pride must be left aside and we must humble ourselves like little children when coming to the Lord. And humility has benefits! 1 Peter 5:5-6, James 4:6-7 and Proverbs 3:34 all speak of humbling ourselves before the Lord and He (God) will lift you up, give you grace and give you the ability to resist the temptations of the devil. Humility coupled with the fear of the Lord can also bring you honor and respect.
Proverbs 22:4 – NKJV – By humility and the fear of the Lord Are riches and honor and life.
Fear of the Lord does not mean walking around “cringing” and being afraid, but to honor, be worshipful and reverent toward Him. Honor, riches and life can come to your life if we couple humility with a healthy fear of the Lord. God will also guide the humble with what’s right and will teach them His way.
Psalms 25:9 – NKJV – He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.
So let us not look at humility as a form of weakness. Let’s look at it from Gods perspective who gives mercy, favor and grace to those who are humble or humble themselves. Our Lord Jesus, was a master at communicating the ways of God through parables. This is what He had to say while teaching one day:
Luke 18:9-14 – NIV – To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”