One of the main virtues in the Christian faith is humility. Humility is often understood wrong. Out of it peculiar patterns of behaviour arise, so that fellow men cause to make a wide curve around the person, because they do not want to come close to them. True humility has nothing to do with self contempt, but should be a lifestyle which fellow men admire.
What is humility?
There are Christians, who consider it as very godly look when they are humble and say, that they can do and are nothing. With excrescences it can even become self contempt. This has nothing to do with the humility how God looks at it, but is negative pride, because it refers to ME. I CAN nothing and I AM nothing. It is right that the bible tells us, what we are in Christ and what we can do in Him. Nevertheless, God has given us a dignity, that we should keep. After all we are ambassadors for Christ and represent God and his kingdom on this earth. Therefore, it is important to understand what humility really is.
First, we must know, what God demands:
He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God (Mi 6:8)?
This is God’s condition, that we humble ourselves before him. Nowhere in the scripture stands, that we should humble in front of people. Let me explain this: the meaning of humility after the Hebrew word anav has different meanings. E.g. humiliate oneself, chastise oneself, hard bypass with oneself, humble oneself, subdue oneself in the sense of submit oneself, bate. I would like to draw your attention to the meaning of subdue oneself in the sense of submit oneself. If we humble ourselves in front of God, then we submit ourselves to him. This is what God wants. He wants that we submit ourselves to him, his lordship, and his will. I consider it very important, that we think about ourselves the same as God thinks about us. I think, that there lies the big strength of humility. To become the image of God, which means to become the image of what God thinks about us. There are some Christians, who are wrong this area, because they think about themselves too little or too good. But it is important, that we have the thoughts about ourselves, which God has about us. That we see us how God sees us or how God has called us. God has given each one of us a call and this call has to become second nature with ourselves. It has to become a part of us. We should think about what God’s call or task in our lives is.
Paul writes in Romans 12:3:
For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
Many take this text and say, that one should be humble in front of the other. Wrong, it is written to think of oneself better or worse, but such as it is fit. Not too much or too little. In Colossians 3:12-17 it is written:
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
In verse 12 Paul encourages us to put on humility. To have humility is a decision of the will. In the following verses we see, how humility has its effects: we forgive each other, we have love and this love is like a band of perfection wounded around us and God’s peace governs us. Even when the word of Christ lives abundantly among us this is a consequence of humility. The highest possible form of humility is, when all we do is done in word and deeds in the name of the Lord Jesus.
As already said humility is important and we will find it in the Bible again and again, sometimes it is not named obviously, but we see can how people humble themselves by submitting to God. Beside Jesus for me the greatest model of humility is David. Our first example is written in 2 Samuel 5:19 where David is in a difficult situation:
And David enquired of the LORD, saying, Shall I go up to the Philistines? wilt thou deliver them into mine hand? And the LORD said unto David, Go up: for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into thine hand.
So we look up different scriptures where David was in a difficult or even a hopeless situation and he did not forget to inquire God. No, it was even his desire to inquire God. How would we react, when we are in a desperate situation? from where would we get help? In David we see the tendency of very practical humility. In the epistle to the Philippians it is written that God will meet all our needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. If we do not only read and cite this text, but claim it in our everyday life, it means that we are humble. we do not bring to pass the solutions convulsively, but we inquire God. Because he meets all our needs, we can go to him with all our needs. How many needs are all needs? ALL. Whatever your needs are, it makes no difference in which areas, God wants to meet your needs. You must accept, that only God can help you. Another example of David we see in 2 Samuel 5:23, 2 Samuel 21:1 and 1 Chron 14:10 and 14.
God not only requires of us that we are humble as an end in itself, but he has also given us promises. Humility is a prerequisite for blessings in our lives. E.g. in Proverbs 15:33 and 18:12 it is written everytime that humility goes before honour. In proverbs 22:4: By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life. When we receive God’s riches, honour and life, then we got the only true thing (the real thing). When God gives us this, then we may appreciate, accept and enjoy it.
In Zephaniah 2:3 we will be asked to look for humility:
Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD’S anger.
If we should look for it means that it can disappear or get lost. Suddenly you can start with: I AM a good Christian, I AM humble! This is actually not correct anymore. You think you are well, but pride has crept in. therefore the request to look for humility is written.
I would like to encourage you to go deeper into this topic and to really understand, what humility is, what the bible tells us about humility. Take the concordance and look up the numerous scriptures about humility and let you be presented of what God wants to tell you. Apply this in your live and you will have a blessed life, because God resists the proud, but he gives grace to the humble. Everyone likes to be presented by God. God shall elevate us and not people. When God honours us it will remain. When people honour us we do not know their motives behind, they might be good but the people can drop us. Then is the fall great. When God gives us grace and raises us, this will last. It is an honour for us to be raised by God. Thereby we can be a testimony for him in this world. Humility is not an end in itself, but a way how we can build God’s kingdom at the place where we are.
, ‚One of the main virtues in the Christian faith is humility. Humility is often understood wrong. Out of it peculiar patterns of behaviour arise, so that fellow men cause to make a wide curve around the person, because they do not want to come close to them. Humility has nothing to do with self contempt, but should be a lifestyle which fellow men admire.‘,