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HUMILITY


The word humility has its origin in the Latin word “humilis,” which means “low.” When applied in a Biblical sense, humility means lowliness of mind, meekness, being submissive, and the absence of self. There are various examples of humility in the scriptures, but the finest example of humility is our Lord Jesus Christ. No one and nothing can adequately describe His matchless and unparalleled humility. He was fully submissive to God’s will. As He was facing death on the cross, Jesus prayed to His Father, “… not what I will, but what you will” (Mark 14:36). This was clearly an act of unreserved humility and total submission to God.

It is not surprising that Paul, in his letter to the Philippians, wrote: “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance of a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:5-8). Humbling “Himself and becoming obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross” proves beyond any doubt the great extent of God’s love and compassion for sinful mankind.

When we consider that the cross speaks of physical suffering, pain, death, hate, bitterness, scorn, agony, ridicule, and shame, yet Jesus despised all that because He was intent on “doing the Father’s will” at all costs. Did He not say, “My food is to the will of Him that sent Me, and to finish His work” (John 4:34). Thanks be to God that the humility of His Son, Jesus Christ, resulted in our full and free salvation.

According to the Bible, Christians are also required to be humble. For example, Paul writes, “Let northing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3,4). Being headstrong, proud, and haughty have no place in the believer’s life. Paul instructed Timothy that “a servant of the Lord must not strive but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient in humility, instructing those who are in opposition to him” (2 Timothy 2:24,25). By being gracious, kind, and thoughtful to those who may oppose us, could lead them to a “saving knowledge” of our Lord Jesus Christ.

God has specifically stated in His word what He requires of us, “He has shown you O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8). Humility requires putting away arrogance and false pride because “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble” (James 4:6). This verse contrasts pride with humility. Grace is God’s free gift to undeserving mankind. Because of His sovereign will, God gives grace and more grace to the humble.

Paul exhorts the Roman christians “to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith” (Romans 12:3). “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less” (C.S. Lewis, Author, 1898-1963). This is a very insightful comment on humility.

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