God’s Kind of Humility: Characteristics of Humility in The Bible

Have you ever wondered why humility is so important to God? The Bible paints a beautiful picture of what it means to be humble. It’s about being gentle, following God’s guidance, showing respect to yourself and others, being willing to listen and learn, and not showing off (Colossians 3:12-13). When someone is humble, they care about others more than themselves and are willing to sacrifice for the sake of love.

You see, God loves it when we put aside our big egos and prideful ways, and instead, choose to be gentle, modest, and open-minded. It’s not always easy, but when we embrace humility, it opens the door for God to work wonders in our lives. Just imagine how much closer you could be to God if you let go of that “I know it all” attitude and became more teachable. Sounds pretty great, doesn’t it? Let’s dive in and explore why humility is such a big deal to the Almighty.

Characteristics of Humility in the Bible

The Bible teaches that humility is a vital characteristic, and it’s closely tied to our relationship with God. Proverbs 22:4 says, “By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches and honor and life.” This verse highlights the importance of humility in our spiritual journey. On the other hand, Luke 14:11 reminds us that “for whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” This verse encourages us to cultivate humility, knowing that it will ultimately lead to exaltation.

Old Testament Humility

In the Old Testament, we see many examples of humble individuals who were chosen by God for great tasks. Moses, for instance, was chosen to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, but he remained humble throughout his journey. He didn’t let his position go to his head, and he always sought to follow God’s lead. Similarly, King David was a great leader who defeated Goliath and became the king of Israel, but he never forgot where his strength came from. He was always quick to give God the credit and acknowledge his own weaknesses.

New Testament Humility

The New Testament takes humility to a new level with the example of Jesus Christ. Despite being the Son of God, Jesus chose to become a servant, washing His disciples’ feet and hanging out with the outcasts of society. He knew that being humble and putting others first was the way to go. The apostle Paul is another great example of humility. He used to be a persecutor of Christians, but after his encounter with Jesus, he did a complete 180. He became one of the most influential leaders in the early church, but he never forgot his humble beginnings. Paul was always quick to acknowledge that it was God’s power, not his own, that allowed him to do amazing things.

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8 Marks of a Humble Person

Marks/PhasesDescription
1. Humble HeartHaving a modest and gentle attitude (1 Peter 5:6)
2. Servant’s MindsetWillingness to serve others (Romans 12:10)
3. Grateful SpiritBeing thankful for what you have (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
4. Forgiving NatureLetting go of grudges and showing mercy (Ephesians 4:31-32)
5. Teachable SpiritBeing open to learning and growing (Psalms 119:34 AMP)
6. Patient AttitudeEnduring difficulties with grace (Matthew 24:13)
7. SelflessnessPutting others before yourself (Philippians 2:3-5)
8. Trust in GodRelying on God’s strength and wisdom (Proverbs 3:5-6)

A Humble Heart

Having a humble heart means being modest and gentle in your attitude towards others. It’s like having a soft spot for people, you know, being kind and not thinking you’re better than anyone else. When you have a humble heart, you’re open to learning from others and willing to admit when you’re wrong. It’s about putting aside your ego and pride, and instead, focusing on serving and caring for those around you.

Servant’s Mindset

Embracing a servant’s mindset means being willing to serve others selflessly, without expecting anything in return. It’s a heroic act, where you trade in your cape for a helping hand, serving your friends and neighbors with love and kindness. By prioritizing others’ needs over your own, you’re demonstrating a love that’s more than just words – it’s a tangible expression of your heart.

Grateful Spirit

Having a grateful spirit means being thankful for what you have and not taking things for granted. It’s like saying “thank you” to God and others for the good stuff in your life. When you have a grateful spirit, you’re focusing on the positive things and appreciating the blessings around you.

Forgiving Nature

A forgiving nature is all about letting go of grudges and showing mercy to those who have hurt you. It’s like giving someone a second chance, even when they don’t deserve it. When you have a forgiving nature, you’re choosing to release the anger and bitterness in your heart and choosing to love instead.

Teachable Spirit

Having a teachable spirit means being open to learning new things and growing as a person. It’s like being a sponge, soaking up knowledge and wisdom from others. When you have a teachable spirit, you’re humble enough to admit that you don’t know everything and that there’s always room to improve.

Patient Attitude

A patient attitude is all about enduring difficulties with grace and not giving up when things get tough. It’s like having a cool head and a calm heart when life throws you a curveball. When you have a patient attitude, you’re able to wait for things to get better and trust that God has a plan, even when you can’t see it.

Selflessness

Selflessness is about putting others before yourself and showing love through your actions. It’s like being a superhero, but instead of saving the world, you’re helping out your friends and family. When you have a selfless attitude, you’re willing to sacrifice your own needs for the sake of others and show kindness in everything you do.

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Trust in God

Having trust in God means relying on His strength and wisdom instead of trying to do everything on your own. It’s like having a best friend who’s always there for you, no matter what. When you trust in God, you’re letting go of your worries and fears and believing that He has a plan for your life, even when things seem uncertain.

Humility vs Brokenness: The Difference Between Being Humble and Feeling Defeated

So, let’s talk a bit about the difference between being a humble hero and a broken-down bummer. Humility is a total superpower – it’s about having an accurate, honest view of yourself and your need for God’s grace. But brokenness? That’s more like feeling worthless, ashamed, and ready to wave the white flag.

True biblical humility isn’t about groveling or thinking you’re a total failure. It’s about standing tall, secure in your identity as God’s beloved child, while still recognizing your complete dependence on Him. You know you need a Savior, but that doesn’t make you a hopeless mess.

In contrast, brokenness can leave you feeling crushed and paralyzed. It’s important not to confuse the two. Humility empowers you, while brokenness can really drag you down. The goal is to cultivate that humble, confident spirit, not a broken one. Brokenness can take you a mile, humility takes you two.

Scriptural Differences in Humility: How Humility is Portrayed in the Bible

The Bible has a lot to say about humility, but it’s portrayed in different ways throughout Scripture. In the Old Testament, humility is often linked to meekness, submission, and awe before God.

Take Moses, for example – he’s described as “the most humble man on the face of the earth” (Numbers 12:3). His humility shone through as he faithfully followed God’s lead, even when the path was tough.

Then in the New Testament, Jesus Christ is the ultimate model of humility. Though equal with God, He “made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant” (Philippians 2:7). Jesus’ humility was all about service, sacrifice, and obedience to the Father.

The apostle Paul also has a lot to say about humility, urging believers to “do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves” (Philippians 2:3). For Paul, humility is about putting others first, not yourself.

So while there are common threads, the Bible paints a diverse picture of what true humility looks like. Exploring these nuances can really deepen our understanding and appreciation for this vital character trait.

Concepts of Humility in the Bible: Key Principles to Embrace

The Bible presents several super-important concepts and teachings about humility that we need to embrace:

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Humility and Dependence on God

Humility is all about acknowledging our complete reliance on God and our desperate need for His grace. As Proverbs 3:34 puts it, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”

Humility and Servanthood

Jesus modeled humility by humbly serving others, even washing His disciples’ feet (John 13:1-17). Humility is about putting the needs of others before our own selfish desires.

Humility and Wisdom

The book of Proverbs links humility with true wisdom, saying “Humility comes before honor” (Proverbs 15:33). Humble people are open to learning and growing, not blinded by pride.

Humility and Exaltation

Here’s the crazy part – the Bible teaches that those who humble themselves will ultimately be lifted up by God. As Jesus said, “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted” (Matthew 23:12).

These biblical principles challenge us to cultivate a humble spirit and see humility as a strength, not a weakness. Embracing God’s kind of humility can totally transform our lives and relationships.

Applying Humility to Our Lives: Practical Ways to Grow in Humility

Okay, so how can we actually put these lessons of biblical humility into practice in our everyday lives? Here are some super practical tips:

  1. Practice Gratitude: Regularly expressing gratitude to God and others helps foster a humble mindset. It reminds us that we’re recipients of grace, not entitled to anything.
  2. Serve Others: Look for opportunities to serve and put the needs of others before your own. This Christ-like attitude of service is the heartbeat of true humility.
  3. Seek Wisdom: Approach life with a posture of learning and openness. Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and always willing to grow.
  4. Surrender Control: Acknowledge your limitations and your need for God’s guidance. Surrender your plans and agendas to His perfect will and timing.
  5. Celebrate Others: Rejoice in the successes and accomplishments of those around you, rather than focusing on your own. Humble people are secure enough to lift up others.

Above all, staying humble requires love. “Let your hearts be fervent and love unwavering for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. it overlooks unkindness and unselfishly seeks the best for others” – 1 Peter 4:8.

Conclusion

So, humility is a vital characteristic that God deeply values. The Bible paints a rich and multifaceted picture of what it means to be humble – from the gentle, servant-hearted spirit of Moses and Jesus, to the grateful, teachable attitude of Paul. Humility is not about groveling or feeling defeated, but about having an accurate, honest view of ourselves and our complete dependence on God’s grace.

As we’ve explored, humility manifests in practical ways – through a grateful heart, a willingness to serve others, a patient spirit, and a trust in God’s wisdom over our own. These are the marks of a truly humble person. And the promise is that those who humble themselves will ultimately be exalted by God. So let us embrace this counter-cultural virtue, not out of obligation, but out of a desire to draw closer to the heart of our humble Savior. For in doing so, we open ourselves to the transformative work of God in our lives and become powerful witnesses of His grace to the world around us.

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