The quality of humility is something that all of God’s children should practice and show everyday. It is something that is not taught in today’s world, yet I believe it is the number one thing people should have. When teaching God’s word or just when you have done or will do something really great, humility is the trait you should bear. But what exactly is humility, what are some great examples in the bible of people displaying humility (Philippians 2), and why does God exalt us when we show it? By looking deeper into this topic we will be able to answer these questions and learn a little bit more about this intriguing word.
What is humility? Humility means to be humble or to show humbleness. Humbleness is the key when accomplishing something great or even when you haven’t it is still good to be humble. But when you hear the word “humble” you may think of being depressed or think of yourself as worthless and that’s how you are to be humble. Well don’t think that way. God made you for a reason, he has work planned for you to do. (Jeremiah 29:11) To be humble just realize that there are other people better than you. When being humble your worst enemy is arrogance or being proud. Remember there will always be someone better than you at something. It’s that moment when you say ‘I’m great’ or ‘I can do it better’ that arrogance takes over and humbleness is gone. Philippians 4:13 says “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.” When you do something great praise God for it, that is a great way to show humbleness to others and to God. Realize, you didn’t do those things, God did. He did it through you.
The greatest example of humility we have in the bible, I think is Jesus. Were going to look at Philippians chapter 2 to see why. (Philippians 2:1-11 talks about imitating Christ’s humility). In verses 3-4 it says “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. ” What he is saying is do everything in humbleness and recognize the values of others and put them above yours. Verses 5-11 talk about how Jesus, being a very powerful spiritual being, came down on this earth and became a servant. The only way he could have done that was by humbling himself, realizing now that he is now a servant and he must die for all mankind and that many would not follow. And since he did that God exalted him on the highest place. Paul is another good example someone who displays humility. In his second letter to the Corinthians he states “If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.”- 2 Corinthians 11:30. What he’s saying is, if he must boast about something, he’s not going to boast of all the good things he has done and his strengths, but of all the things he hasn’t done and of his weaknesses. That’s showing true humility right there.
Why does God exalt us when we show humility towards Him and others? Before we answer that lets look at James 4:10 which says “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” Now we know that God will exalt us but why? The answer simple. Once we humble ourselves we have now realized that we are not the greatest, we are servants of God. We are serving the Almighty God. Also with humility comes wisdom (Proverbs 11:2). In Matthew 18:1-4 Jesus is talking with the disciples and they ask him “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Jesus answers them and says “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” We see here that children are not proud or arrogant about anything. They are meek and lowly, and in that time period on the social hierarchy women and children were the lowest. So Jesus tells us to be like little children because they don’t care about being the greatest at everything. Then we will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven. We take a low position on this earth, then we are called great in the kingdom heaven because we were humble.
To conclude this study, humility is just another word for humbleness. Jesus is the greatest example of humility. And Once we humble ourselves we have now realized that we are not the greatest, we are servants of God. That is why he exalts us because we know we are not the greatest. Remember next time you do something great praises God for it, give him the credit because he really did do it. It shows humbleness when you do that. Just as David wrote in Proverbs 22:4 “The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life.”