Humility Meaning In The Bible And Its Importance For Us

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Published by Kenneth Garcia

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Co-Founder of Biblekeeper, Author & Theologian

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According to the meaning given by the world, the word “humility” frequently connotes low self-esteem. But the “humility meaning in the Bible” involves gaining confidence from God, who appreciates and loves you more than you do. It involves placing more stock in what God says about you than in what anyone else may think. Accepting who you are in Christ Jesus over who you are in the flesh is necessary.

Being so unconcerned with your ego that you unreservedly raise people around you is what it means to be biblically humble. Furthermore, humility is the virtue that gives birth to all other positive virtues. Being teachable and modest are synonymous. In humility, count others above you and be willing to learn how to be friendly and patient. Most importantly, be ready for God to change you.

What Is Humility?

Given that it comes from the Latin term humus (earth), it seems to go against how we currently value self-worth and self-realization. But meekness and weakness have nothing to do with humility. Additionally, it does not imply submission or selflessness.

Understanding our place in the greater scheme of things leads to a mindset of modesty known as humility. The Biblical definition of humility requires us not to take ourselves, our goals, or our failures too seriously. A more humble attitude[1] improves our psychological health overall and ensures social functioning. It is the ideal remedy for the self-obsessed mindset of our day.

A humble mindset significantly enhances our cognitive, interpersonal, and decision-making abilities. Our capacity and desire to learn are intimately correlated with our level of humility. People with this trait are better problem-solvers and learners, which, as the Biblical definition says, means, with humility, counting others above you.

People frequently ask what humility is or what it means to be humble for our own understanding. In the Bible, modesty or humbleness refers to the trait of showing people respect and consideration. Aggression, arrogance, boastfulness, and vanity are all opposed to it.

What Is Humility Meaning In The Bible?

In the Bible, humility is characterized as meekness, lowliness, and selflessness. We can understand that it is a heart attitude and not only an outward demeanor. The Greek word is translated as “humility” in Colossians 3:12, and in other places, it truly means “lowliness of mind.”

Even if one appears humble on the outside, their heart may be filled with pride and arrogance. Jesus claimed that the kingdom of heaven would belong to people who are “poor in heart” (Matthew 5:3), as God blesses the meek. Being humble means that individuals who openly acknowledge their complete spiritual bankruptcy are the only ones who will be given eternal life. So, for Christians, humility is a requirement.

We must approach Christ as sinners with humility while being poor in spirit. We admit that all we have to give him is our sin, our need for salvation, and God’s grace. We are paupers and beggars. We are aware of our inadequacy and total incapacity to save ourselves, as he dwells in a high and holy place. Then, when he extends his compassion and mercy, we gratefully embrace it and dedicate our lives to serving him and others.

Biblical humility is required for greatness in the kingdom and entrance into the kingdom. The humble Christian should be prepared to set aside all selfishness and surrender in obedience to God and his Word, just as the humble Jesus was constantly obedient to the Father. Godliness, contentment, and security are the results of genuine humility.

two men praising and humility meaning in the bible

What Is The Importance Of Humility?

Being humble is the ultimate example of having the self-worth to realize that, even when you succeed, you do not need to boast or gloat about it. It’s crucial to maintain the very nature of your humility—to have a contrite and lowly spirit—since it affects how you see yourself and the world around you.

Humility not only helps you interact with people more kindly. Natural law dictates that if we submit to God’s mighty hand in humility and have fear of the Lord, he will grant us the grace we need to live a truly Christian life and exalt us in his time.

One might show greater empathy and compassion for others when they are humble. Humility increases one’s propensity to take into account the ideas and beliefs of others. This is most likely due to the possibility that humility allows one to become less self-absorbed and more sensitive to others’ sentiments.

Because humility enables one to see areas where they might improve themselves logically, it also aids in developing self-growth and self-awareness. It can help in the development of a more profound and enlightened perspective on the world and what is going on in it.

Being humble enables you to deliberately recognize your value in this world while acknowledging the many other people who share your mission. A religious virtue is humility. Humility, good health, religion, and spirituality all correlate.

2 Things Everyone Should Know About Humility

In contrast to the arrogant, God has vowed to show grace to the humble (Proverbs 3:34; 1 Peter 5:5). Humility in the Bible means we must be honest, suppress our pride, and live in fear of the Lord. Exalting ourselves conflicts with God, who will humble us out of grace and for our welfare.

Submission Is What Humility Entails, But Not Groveling

Submission and modesty go hand in hand. As Christians, we are commanded by God’s word to submit to one another in humility. “In the same way, you younger people, respect your elders. Yes, you should all submit to one another and dress in humility because God opposes the haughty but exalts the lowly” (1 Peter 5:5–6).

We can foster harmony and peace among others by submitting to authority, covering ourselves with humility, and shedding our wicked ways. We should not be so arrogant and self-righteous that we reject advice or correction. We should also not believe that our ideas and opinions are always superior to others. Such ways of thinking will not bring about advancement or unity in Christ Jesus.

Being humble and submissive does not entail that we should prostrate ourselves before anyone. He was quite clear when Paul stated that we should serve God and God alone. He says, “For do I now convince mortals, or God? Or do I want to win over men? Because I wouldn’t serve Christ as a bondservant if I continued to please people” (Galatians 1:10).

While it’s vital to be submissive to criticism and low self-esteem, Christians are also called to live their lives in a way that pleases God. We must respect him and obey his commands. We understand that God opposes the proud, so our primary goal should be to submit to God’s will and live and breathe in obedience to his commands, not to try to satisfy the demands and expectations of others.

When We Are Humble, We Make Use Of Our Skills And Abilities

“Because of the grace bestowed upon me, I urge everyone in your group to think critically and to each think according to the degree of faith that God has given them” (Romans 12:3). Being modest means having a realistic perspective on oneself.

This implies that we do not praise our abilities and successes. We must be humble and put our pride aside. Exalting ourselves conflicts with God, who will humble us out of grace and for our welfare. However, God gives us more grace and exalts us if we humble ourselves.

However, this does not imply that we should disregard the abilities that God himself has given us. God desires to do a massive and life-changing job in and through us. He has given us our skills and abilities, and he purchased us with the priceless blood of his Son, Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:18–20), through his death on the cross, but he urges us to walk humbly and not have a haughty spirit.

Each of us should be conscious that God opposes the proud and wants to be able to utilize us for his glory and his purpose. We demonstrate Biblical humility by using our skills and abilities under God’s guidance and leadership and giving him recognition and praise for what is accomplished through our lives.

As each of you has received a gift, share it as responsible stewards of God’s abundant favor. If someone speaks, let him do so as one of God’s prophets. To the extent that anybody can minister, let him do it in a way that glorifies God through Jesus Christ, to whom the glory and the dominion belong forever and ever. Amen” (1 Peter 4:10–11).

2 Things Everyone Should Know What Humility Is Not

Humility Does Not Equate With Being Self-Hate

Selfish ambition or self-punishment are not characteristics of true humility. It says, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” not “Hate yourself; love your neighbor as yourself.” Self-hate is wicked, the same mindset as hatred of others (just as suicide is a form of murder).

Many people in our society have feelings of humiliation, inadequacy, and low self-worth. Such emotions must be clearly distinguished from the intention of Biblical humility. Whatever humility asks of you will never deprive you of your worth as a bearer of God’s image.

Humble people do not see anything wrong with their existence. They do not see themselves as destroying everything they come into contact with or wasting the space they occupy. They can move around the world with ease and a spring in their step as they celebrate other people’s accomplishments over their own interests.

Humility Does Not Equate To Hiding

Not disguising your skills and abilities is being humble. The death of this lustful, self-referential paradigm is true humility. Humility in the Bible teaches us that it entails respecting your contribution to the world along with all of its other positive aspects.

While it’s true that God opposes the proud, there is nothing wrong with being proud of your accomplishments and being able to talk freely about them. But it is not vain conceit when you are three times as proud of your colleague’s work. This is what is meant by humility. Being such a person is a joy and a form of freedom rather than a burden. It means we value other people’s work above our own interests.

man kneeling in church praying and humility meaning in the bible

Conclusion

The epitome of humility is revealed in the Christian faith, specifically in Jesus’ incarnation and, to a lesser extent, in his death and burial. “He humbled himself by being obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross, after being discovered in human form” (Philippians 2:8).

Jesus was the most humble person who has ever lived. The ultimate descent is from the crucifixion to heaven. But even for Jesus, joy and glory were reached through humility.  Therefore, humility does not involve hiding your talents or disliking who you are. It is the satisfaction of thinking more about Jesus and less about yourself.

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