What Is Humility In The Bible?
The word “humility” is used many times in the Bible, but what does it actually mean? What is humility in the Bible?
In Isaiah we read, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9).
This passage tells us that God’s ways are higher than our ways, and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. Therefore, to be humble is to have a low opinion of oneself in comparison to God. It is acknowledging that He is above us and we are below Him.
Humility is having a proper perspective of God compared to us. It is not thinking too highly of ourselves or too lowly of ourselves, but seeing ourselves as we really are in relation to God.
The Bible has a lot to say about humility. In Philippians 2:3-4 we read, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
This passage tells us that humility is not thinking of ourselves as better than others, but actually considering others to be more important than ourselves.
In James we read, “But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6).
This verse tells us that God is opposed to those who are proud, but He gives grace to those who are humble. This means that humility is something that God values and something that He is looking for in His people.
So, humility is having a low opinion of ourselves in comparison to God and considering others to be more important than ourselves. It is an attitude of mind that enables us to receive God’s grace.
In Mark 10:45 we read, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45).
This verse tells us that Jesus did not come to be served, but to serve. He came to give His life as a ransom for many. This shows us the attitude of humility that Jesus had. He was not interested in being served, but in serving others.
What Does The Bible Say About Humility?
The Bible tells us that God greatly values humility. In Isaiah 66:2 we read, “But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.” (Isaiah 66:2).
This passage tells us that God looks favorably on those who are humble and tremble at His Word. This means that He sees humility as a positive character trait and something that He wants to see in His people.
Being humble means being contrite in spirit and having reverence for God’s word. It is an attitude of mind that enables us to receive God’s grace.
In Psalm 34:18 we read, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18).
God is near to those who are humble and brokenhearted. He hears their cries and comes to their aid. He is drawn to those who are low in spirit and don’t boast about themselves. God doesn’t save the invincible and the mighty. He saves those who are crushed in spirit and humble.
In Psalm 147:6 we read, “The Lord lifts up the downtrodden; he casts the wicked to the ground.” (Psalm 147:6).
This passage tells us that God lifts up the humble and casts the wicked to the ground. He exalts those who are low and lowly and brings down those who are proud and arrogant. This is because humility is something that God values and something that He is looking for in His people.
In James 4:6 we read, “But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6).
As we saw earlier, this verse tells us that God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. He is more likely to bless those who have humility than those who do not. If we want to experience God’s abundant grace, then humility is a character trait that we need to cultivate.
In 1 Peter 5:5 we read, “Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” (1 Peter 5:5).
We are to clothe ourselves with humility. This is something that we are to put on, just as we would put on a piece of clothing. It is something that we are to deliberately choose to do. And when we do, it will have the effect of making us more humble.
How Can We Be More Humble?
If we want to be more humble, we need to first start by having the right perspective of God. When we see how great and holy He is, it will help us to put our own lives into perspective. We need to remember that we are not God and that we are not in control. We are finite beings who are completely dependent on Him.
Second, we need to have the right perspective of ourselves. We need to see ourselves as God sees us. We are sinners who are in need of His grace. We are not perfect and we never will be. But God loves us anyway. Every one of us has sinned many times against God and we could never earn our way to Him. But through Jesus, we can have forgiveness and eternal life.
Third, we need to develop a servant’s heart. We need to be willing to serve others without expecting anything in return. We need to do it because we love them and because we want to please God. When we have a servant’s heart, it will help us to be more humble.
Fourth, we need to focus on other people and not ourselves. We need to think about their needs and how we can help them. We need to stop thinking about ourselves all the time. When we do this, it will help us to be more humble.
Fifth, we need to learn to be patient with others. We need to give them the benefit of the doubt and not be so quick to judge them. We should also be quick to forgive them when they wrong us. When we are patient with others, it will help us to be more humble.
Bible Verses About Humility
We’ve already looked at numerous Bible verses about humility but let’s look at some more:
Proverbs 11:2 – “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.”
Proverbs 15:33 – “The fear of the Lord is instruction in wisdom, and humility comes before honor.”
Proverbs 22:4 – “The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life.”
Ecclesiastes 7:8 – “Better is the end of a thing than its beginning, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.”
Isaiah 57:15 – “For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.”
Micah 6:8 – “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
Matthew 5:3 – “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Matthew 23:12 – “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”
Mark 10:45 – “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Luke 1:52 – “He has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate.”
FAQ About Humility
Q: What is humility according to the Bible?
A: Humility is having a right perspective of God, ourselves, and others. It is also having a servant’s heart and focusing on other people instead of ourselves.
Q: Why is it important for us to be humble?
A: Because God is opposed to the proud but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6). When we are humble, it pleases God and He blesses us.
Q: What does it mean to be humbled?
A: It means to be brought low. It can mean that we are going through hard times or it can mean that we are recognizing our own lowliness.
Q: What are some ways that we can be more humble?
A: By spending time with God, focusing on others instead of ourselves, having the right perspective of God and ourselves, being patient with others, and having a servant’s heart.