Understanding How God Gives Grace To The Humble Heart

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Published by Kimberly Wall


Co-Founder, Disciple Group Leader, Author

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When blessings come into our lives, whether material items, accomplishments, money, or status, it is acceptable to be happy and proud of them, especially if we know we worked hard for them and deserve them. However, it is a different story when our pride stems from self-righteousness or conceit. We are prideful when we are consumed with ourselves and our interests and do not acknowledge God.

In everything we do, we should be humble in the sense that we are those who willingly obey and submit to God’s will and pleasure rather than our desires. Why? According to James 4:6, He opposes the proud, but God gives grace to the humble. What does it mean to be proud or humble?

Key Takeaways

  • The article emphasizes God’s opposition to pride and preference for humility, citing James 4:6. Pride, rooted in self-righteousness, is seen as sinful, hindering acknowledgment of God.
  • The article outlines humility’s characteristics, contrasting them with pride. Humility includes recognizing one’s fallen state, valuing others, and submitting to authority.
  • The article links salvation to humility, stating God’s grace saves through humble faith. Salvation involves submitting to God, accepting Jesus for eternal life, and acknowledging dependence on God’s mercy.

What Does It Mean That God Opposes The Proud But Gives Grace To The Humble?

James 4:6 says, “But he gives more grace. Therefore, it says, God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” All evil stems from pride. God opposes the proud because pride based on self-righteousness and conceit is sinful and prevents us from acknowledging God.

Sinful pride[1] thinks itself to be God and refuses to acknowledge God as our Lord and Savior. Prideful people, consciously and unconsciously, believe that the universe revolves around them. Any kind of deception can lead to sin.

God resists the proud, and they will fall and bear the consequences of their disobedience to God. When you fear the Lord, it implies a deep respect, reverence, and awe for God’s power and authority. But when you are too proud as a human being, you overestimate yourself. Sinful pride usually involves thinking and acting in ways that demonstrate you believe you are better than God and the people around you.

The wicked person in Psalm 10:4 is too proud to admit that God exists. He believes he does not need God. He even denies the existence of God. Of course, denying the presence of God violates the sanctity of human life. He sees no reason to value human life because he believes there is no creator.

God resists the proud. It is an act of pride to refuse to trust God to provide what we need and what He desires for us and to insist on getting what we want for ourselves. We are trying to be God in our own lives.

However, God gives grace to the humble. Your attention is drawn to God and His ways when you are humble. A humble spirit recognizes that they will likely fail, but their faith and trust in the Lord allow them to get back up and move forward with confidence after falling.

God invites us to humble ourselves to receive more of God’s grace. He invites us to repent of the sin of self-reliance and to yield to Him, receiving abundance with gratitude and relying on Him for everything.

A captivating oil painting illustrating divine grace, rich textures showcase a moment of humility touched by heavenly light.

What Is Humility?

Humility is the tendency to regard oneself as having no particular significance that makes one superior to others, not pride. In the Bible, humility is an essential and consistent attribute of godliness. We are called to be humble followers of Christ who trust in God’s wisdom and salvation. True humility is seeing ourselves as we are—fallen in sin and powerless without God. The nature of God is the foundation of biblical humility.

To do what is right and acceptable to the Lord, it is critical to distinguish between pride and humility. Pride promotes oneself; humility promotes God. Pride is concerned with what is best for me; humility is concerned with what is best for others. Pride has a short fuse; humility has a long fuse. “I know I’m right,” Pride says; “I could be wrong.” Pride looks down on others; humility looks out for others.

Pride believes he doesn’t need help; humility recognizes that he does. Pride whines; humility expresses gratitude. Humility submits to authority, while pride rebels against it. Pride rejects advice; humility seeks it. Pride demands that I have my way; humility is willing to yield. Pride speaks quickly, and humility listens quickly.

a humble craftsman passionately creating intricate pottery

Why Do Salvation And Humility Go Together?

Salvation and humility are inextricably linked because God’s grace can only save us through faith, which is only possible when we are humble enough to believe, ask for His assistance, and trust Him.

When we submit to and obey God, we can be saved. We submit to God by accepting Jesus as God’s Son, who rose from the dead to give us eternal life. True submission requires a shift in allegiance from self to Christ, submitting to Him as the undisputed overall power.

With humility, we honor and value the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. We admit that we are sinners incapable of saving ourselves. It’s arrogant to think we don’t need repentance and that we can live in this fallen world without God’s mercy. We will be saved if we confess Jesus as Lord with our mouths and believe God raised Him from the dead.

Promises From God For The Humble

“Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind, and do not rely on your insight or understanding. Know, recognize, and acknowledge Him in all your ways, and He will direct and make your paths straight and plain” (Proverbs 3:5–6, AMP).

Human comprehension is always prone to error. What appears to be the best option may be the worst option. The Lord sees the big picture and always knows what is best for us. We need to be humble enough to trust him, and he will not disappoint us. He will keep us on track, just like he promised.

Proverbs 22:4, ESV: “The reward for humility and fear of the LORD is riches, honor, and life.” To “fear the Lord” means to trust Him and submit to His authority. When you do this, God gives grace to the humble. The Lord will reward your faith with graciousness.

“He has shown you, O man, what is good, and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8 NKJV). When we walk in humility with the Lord, he will empower, lead, and equip us. When we rely on God and look to our Father, he will show us the good, and we will receive God’s grace.

A humble fisherman in a seaside village, repairing his weathered net

5 Bible Verses About How God Gives Grace To The Humble

“Likewise, you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another and be clothed with humility, for God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Therefore, humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

— 1 Peter 5:5–7

“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly than to divide the spoil with the proud.”

— Proverbs 16:18–19

“And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other, for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

— Luke 18:13–14

“God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts; you are double-minded. Lament, mourn, and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you.”

— James 4:6–10

“For thus says the High and Lofty One, who inhabits eternity and whose name is Holy, ‘I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.'”

— Isaiah 57:15
A watercolor portrayal of God's grace embracing humility, reminiscent of Turner's emotive landscapes


God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Humility entails admitting, as a human being, that you require God’s help and cannot truly succeed in your own strength. It is thanking God for your abilities and gifts and crediting him for your accomplishments.

God hates pride, for pride is the deadliest, the root of all evil, and the beginning of sin. Sinful pride thinks itself to be God and refuses to acknowledge God as our Lord and Savior. To receive salvation and grace, we must come to Christ as sinners, accept him as our savior, and submit wholeheartedly to him, which requires humility.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Does Grace To The Humble Mean?

“Grace to the humble” encapsulates the idea that individuals who embody genuine humility are deserving of kindness, favor, or divine benevolence. It suggests that a modest demeanor not only holds intrinsic virtue but also attracts positive regard or blessings from others or a higher power.

Is Humility A Grace Of God?

Humility being a grace of God is a widely held belief across religious and philosophical traditions. This perspective views humility as a virtue bestowed by divine grace, fostering a harmonious connection between individuals and the divine. It emphasizes the role of grace in cultivating this selfless and modest attitude.

How Did Jesus Teach Us To Be Humble?

Jesus taught humility through his actions and teachings, choosing a humble life and emphasizing selfless service to others. His iconic lesson of washing his disciples’ feet illustrated the importance of a humble, servant-hearted attitude, encouraging his followers to prioritize humility in their interactions with others and their connection with God.

1 thought on “Understanding How God Gives Grace To The Humble Heart”

  1. Very grateful for this message. 🙏
    Thank you 😊 PRAISE God from whom all BLESSINGS FLOW 💯 🤝 AMEN 🙏 🥲


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