Humility is defined as "the quality or state of being humble." It is also a "modest or low view of one’s own importance." Most importantly, however, humility is being "free from pride and arrogance." Additionally, for me, it is the acknowledgment that I need God for every aspect of my life.
As a follower of Christ, you have to humble yourself and acknowledge your poverty in spirit without the Lord. God looks for humility in the hearts of His people and the results of being humble are ones we should strive to attain.
Biblical Examples of Humility
Let's first look at some examples of Biblical humility.
Jesus is the greatest example of humility to have ever lived. He was perfect, He was God in the flesh, yet He came to earth to be a servant to others. Jesus said in Mark 10:45 “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” (See also Luke 22:27, John 13)
Jesus was lowly, or humble. He is described as being humble in many verses of scripture. (See Matthew 11:29, 2 Corinthians 10:1) He gives us the example of humility that we should all aspire to have.
Moses was described in the Bible as "very humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth" (Numbers 12:3). He led the Israelites out of their slavery in Egypt and across the Red Sea to the promised land. Moses was so humble that he put the Israelites above himself, even when they sinned against God.
When God wanted to punish the Israelites, Moses begged God to forgive them and to punish himself instead:
Then Moses returned to the Lord and said, “Oh, these people have committed a great sin, and have made for themselves a god of gold! Yet now, if You will forgive their sin—but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which You have written.” (Exodus 32_31-32)
Moses put others above himself; he was full of humility. He was so humble that he he even asked God to blot him out of God's book to save Israel.
There are many other examples of humility in the Bible. David (Psalm 8:34), Paul (Philippians 3:4-8), and Joseph (Genesis 50:20).
5 Reasons to Strive for Humility
1. Humility allow us to fully submit to God
God wants us to acknowledge that apart from Him we can do nothing. He is the one who knows us, the one who created us. He has a plan for each one of us. When we begin to put all of our faith in God, we humble ourselves to the point of being completely dependent on Him. When we reach this point, there is nothing God won't do for us. His love is deeper than we can imagine.
2. Humility will help us to avoid the negative affects of pride
Pride separates us from God. In fact, the Bible states in Psalms 10:4 that "the proud countenance does not seek God; God is in none of his thoughts." Having an attitude of pride will surely lead to destruction and the Bible is clear about this. Having a heart of humility can help us to avoid being caught in this destruction that comes with being proud.
3. Humility keeps us from sin
When we are humble, we desire to please God...totally and completely. With an attitude of humility, there comes the desire to do right before Him. The flesh becomes weak and the thought of sin becomes offensive. We begin to think about the effects of sin in our lives and the ability to turn from sin becomes stronger.
4. Humility increases our gratitude
When we realize the magnitude of God's love for us and the fact that He is in control of our lives when we submit to Him, we cannot help but be filled with gratitude. Gratitude for His great love, for all that He does for us, and for all that He saves us from.
Not only does humility lead to gratitude for all that God does for us, but for everything that others do for us as well. It leads us to feel the extent of thankfulness that is needed to live according to the commands of God. It is the most fulfilling way to live.
5. Humility gives us a desire to be kind
Having a humble spirit means putting others above yourself. When we are humble, we cannot help but share the kindness that fills our hearts. In fact, Jesus stated this in Mark 12:30-31:
"And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these.”
When we love others as we love ourselves, this is an act of kindness born out of the humility within us.
God Rewards the Humble
The Bible is clear about God's desire for His people to be humble, but it is also clear that there is a reward for humility as well. Let's look at some of the rewards. (Emphasis in each verse is mine).
2 Chronicles 7:14
If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.
1 Peter 5:6
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time
Good and upright is the Lord;
Therefore He teaches sinners in the way.
The humble He guides in justice,
And the humble He teaches His way.
I created a scripture study on The Importance of Humility to help you dive deeper into the importance of being humble in the eyes of God. If you'd like a copy of this four page study, complete the box below and it will be sent directly to your inbox.
Being humble is not only ridding yourself of pride and arrogance, but it is also submitting to God in a way that acknowledges your complete reliance on Him. I pray that you will search your heart and pray for God to reveal the importance of striving for humility in your life.