Humbleness, otherwise known as humility, is a quality of being modest and respectful. It involves having a low opinion of oneself and recognizing the accomplishments of others. In the Bible, humility is seen as a virtue and is often associated with righteousness and the fear of God.
The book of Proverbs also contains several verses that stress the importance of humbleness. One of the most well-known verses on humility in the Bible is Proverbs 16:18, which states, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” This verse is a warning against the dangers of pride and how it can lead to downfall. It reminds us that humility is necessary for spiritual growth and to avoid the pitfalls of pride. Additionally, Proverbs 11:2 states, “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” This verse suggests that humility is essential for gaining wisdom.
Another well-known passage on humbleness in the Bible is Philippians 2:3-9 which teaches: “Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! Therefore, God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name.”
The preceding scripture emphasizes the importance of putting others before oneself and avoiding selfishness. It describes Jesus exemplifying humility in the ultimate way, and that it is through humility that one can be truly exalted by God.
The parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector in Luke 18:9-14 is another example of humility in the Bible. In the parable, Jesus tells the story of a Pharisee and a Tax Collector who both went to the temple to pray. The Pharisee, who was considered a religious leader, prayed loudly and boastfully about his own righteousness, while the Tax Collector, who was considered a sinner, humbly prayed for forgiveness. Jesus concludes the parable by saying that the Tax Collector, not the Pharisee, was justified before God because of his humility. This parable teaches us that humility is necessary for true righteousness and that it is not based on one’s own accomplishments or status.
James 4:6 reads, “God opposes the proud, but give grace to the humble.” This verse highlights the idea that humility is pleasing to God and leads to His favor. It reminds us that humility is necessary for a right relationship with God.
In Matthew 23:12, Jesus said “For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” This is an important reminder that true greatness is found in humbleness, not in exalting oneself.
Another significant example of humility in the Bible is found in the life of the Apostle Paul. Despite his impressive credentials as a Pharisee and a devout Jew, Paul recognized that his righteousness was not enough to save him. He humbly acknowledged his need for God’s grace and became one of the greatest evangelists in the early Christian church.
The Old Testament also contains several other examples of humility. Moses, who is considered one of the greatest leaders in the Bible, is described as “very humble, more than anyone else on the face of the earth” (Numbers 12:3).
In short, the Bible teaches that humbleness or humility is a virtue that is pleasing to God. It involves putting others before oneself, recognizing the accomplishments of others, and avoiding pride and conceit. Through humility, we can gain wisdom, draw closer to God, and better serve others. In the Bible, several examples of people who exemplified humility, such as Moses, Jesus Christ and Paul, are provided as model for us to follow.