Humility – One of 8 Garments to Wear

Humility

What is Humility?

Webster states humility is “Freedom from pride and arrogance, a modest estimate of one’s own worth.”

Humility is the opposite of pride. Pride is such a subtle attitude that seems to slip in the back door oh so slyly. I find some seasons there is no struggle with pride while other seasons contain a regular battle with ugly pride.

Regarding pride, “The question is not, ‘Do I have it?’ but, ‘Where is it?’ and ‘How much of it do I have?’ We all have the tendency to think too much about ourselves and too much of ourselves. A proud man is a self-worshiper. To sum it all up, proud people believe that life is all about them – their happiness, their accomplishments, and their worth.” [Scott] Tom Watson said, “Pride seeks to ungod God.”

“The mindset of Christ (a servant’s mindset): a focus on God and others, a pursuit of the recognition and the exaltation of God, and a desire to glorify and please God in all things and by all things He has given.” [Scott]

So humility leads us to be God worshipers and to serve others while pride leads us to self-worship and to self-service.

Manifestations of Humility

  • Recognizing and trusting God’s character
  • Focusing on Christ
  • Being thankful towards others
  • Being gentle and patient
  • Having a teachable spirit
  • Quick in admitting wrongdoing
  • Quick in asking and giving forgiveness
  • Having an accurate view of your gifts and abilities [Scott]

Biblical Thoughts on Humility

“In the New Testament, there are two words used, one meaning servile, base or groveling and the other meaning gentle, meek or yielding. These attitudes were very negative concepts in the Greek culture, but Christ revealed them to be virtues. Just as pride is the root of every evil, humility is the root of every virtue. According to Jesus, the least or the humblest person is the greatest.” [Scott]

“Humility means lowliness, the willingness to be humbled and to esteem others better than oneself.” [MacDonald]

“To show genuine appreciation and admiration for fellow believers by putting them first,” and to “esteem others better than oneself is the basic definition of true humility. Humility is the perfect antidote to the self-love that poisons human relationships.” [MacArthur]

I like what Warren Wiersbe said, “Put on….humbleness of mind. The pagan world of Paul’s day did not admire humility. Instead, they admired pride and domination. Jesus Christ is the greatest example of humbleness of mind. Humility is not thinking poorly of oneself. Rather, it is having the proper estimate of oneself in the will of God. The person with humbleness of mind thinks of others first and not himself.” [Wiersbe]

Did we hear what he said, “Humility…is having the proper estimate of oneself in the will of God.” That is such a freeing statement!

“Christ set the ultimate example of humility by submitting himself to life on earth and then death on the cross. In humility, he counted the interests of others as more significant than his own.” [Crossway]

Humility Scriptures

“The fear of the Lord is the instruction for wisdom, and before honor comes humility.” (Proverbs 15:33)

“For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.” (Romans 12:3)

“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also the interests of others.”  (Philippians 2:3-4)

“Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (1 Peter 5:5b)

“So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so must you do also. In addition to all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.” (Colossians 3:12-14)

Humility Quotes

Humility is the displacement of self by the enthronement of God. ~Andrew Murray

True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less. ~C.S. Lewis

Our Humility before God has no value, except that it prepares us to reveal the humility of Jesus to our fellow men. ~Andrew Murray

The more conscious of God’s presence the more I feel like being myself, the less conscious of His presence, the more I feel I need to prove myself. ~R.T. Kendall

Humility is honestly assessing ourselves in light of God’s holiness and our sinfulness. ~C.J. Mahaney

As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on thing and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down you cannot see something that is above you. ~C.S. Lewis

I believe that the first test of a great man is his humility. I don’t mean by humility, doubt of his power. But really great men have a curious feeling that the greatness is not of them, but through them. And they see something divine in every other man and are endlessly, foolishly, incredibly merciful. ~John Ruskin

We must embrace and live out humility in order to truly live and be who God means for us to be. ~Stuart Scott

If you are wrong, admit it; if you are right, keep quiet about it; that is the best way to approach any relationship. ~R.T. Kendall

Key – We are encouraged to live our life in Christ and to ‘put on’ or to ‘clothe ourselves’ with: a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forbearance, forgiveness and love.

Quick Book Reviews

The Power of Humility: Living like Jesus. By R.T. Kendall. Narrator Shawn Grindell. Audible, 2016. (5 hours 49 minutes) 5 Stars – Kendall is inspiring, personal, practical, and insightful; he is a wonderful writer and teacher. I highly recommend this book.

 Humility: The Beauty of Holiness. By Andrew Murray. Narrator Gregg Rizzo. Audible, 2017. (2 hours 11 minutes) 4 stars – Murray writes in the classical style, think King James Version; a good book with lots of wisdom nuggets, but written in the old-school style.

Humility: True Greatness. By C.J. Mahaney. Narrator Sean Rumette. Audible, 2009. (3 hours 38 minutes) 3 stars – Mahaney has some good wisdom nuggets, but he speaks in ‘should’ and ‘must’ which I find negative. So if you have time to dig for gold, you’ll find some, but you’ll have to deal with a little extra soul mass in the process.

From Pride to Humility – A Biblical Perspective. By Dr. Stuart Scott. Paperback. 5 Stars – Scott gives us a practical book on humility and pride. I highly recommend this 35 page paperback.

Recommendations:

If you would like to read more about the garments we put on and wear, you can read:

Compassion – One of 8 Garments We Wear  Compassion – One of 8 Garments to Wear – Strength with Dignity 

Kindness – One of 8 Garments We Wear Kindness – One of 8 Garments to Wear – Strength with Dignity

To Fear or Not to Fear? God or Man https://strengthwithdignity.com/fear-or-not-to-fear-man-or-god/

References:

Crossway – Key Bible Verses Series. 10 Key Bible Verses on Humility. Published August 26, 2020. Retrieved April 26, 2021 from Crossway https://www.crossway.org/articles/10-key-bible-verses-on-humility/

MacArthur, John. The MacArthur Bible Commentary. Thomas Nelson, 2005, pages 1547, 1715, 1742.

MacDonald, William. Believer’s Bible Commentary. Thomas Nelson, 2016, page 2059.

New American Standard Bible. Copyright 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation.

Scott, Dr. Stuart. From Pride to Humility – A Biblical Perspective. Focus Publishing, 2002, pages 2, 17-23.

Webster 1828 Dictionary. Retrieved May 26, 2021 from http://webstersdictionary1828.com/Dictionary/humility

Wiersbe, Warren B. The Wiersbe Bible Commentary: The Complete New Testament. Published by David C. Cook, 2007, page 687.

Quotes – Retrieved April 27, 2021 from https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/15920402-the-power-of-humility-living-like-jesus and https://biblereasons.com/humility/

 

 

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24 thoughts on “Humility – One of 8 Garments to Wear”

  1. I loved this post, Lisa! It made me think of a Timothy Keller book I read about a year ago. It’s called “The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness.” Its a short but powerful book. I’m excited to check out the other books you suggested as well!

    1. Thank you for the encouragement, Sarah! And thank you for the book suggestion, I’ll checkout Timothy Keller’s book.

  2. Lisa, excellent post, I grapple with humility regularly-hoping to get that garment fully on one of these days! I agree with Sarah, much here reminds me of Tim Keller’s book-so well done. Thank you!

  3. I struggle with the one that says, “If you are wrong, admit it; if you are right, keep quiet about it; that is the best way to approach any relationship.” (R.T. Kendall) – I often want to say I’m right or prove I’m right about something, but man, is it hard to resist that urge. Sometimes though, if you’re right, you need to stand up for what is right for righteousness’ sake. That’s also humility. Seems to be a paradox, no? “I think I’m right and need to say so,” vs. “I know I’m right (and what is right) needs to be taught so that others don’t falter.”

    1. I think the key is to be led by the Spirit, Katie. And I think that heart motive is to be discerned i.e. am I trying to vindicate myself or is the Spirit of God vindicating His Name or the Truth through me? Heart motive can clear up a lot of seemingly paradoxes like this one in humility. R.T. Kendall’s book, The Power of Humility, is an excellent read. I thoroughly enjoyed the audiobook and recommend it to you.

  4. Dear Lisa, in this day of social media’s influence and endless self-promotion, your words set us aright and remind us of Who gets the glory for anything of goodness and value in our lives.

  5. Wow, Lisa, this is a true resource! I recently scribbled this definition of Humble from Calvin Miller into my planner:
    “Free to go unnoticed.”
    Humility is completely counter-cultural, isn’t it?

    1. It really is counter-culture, Michele. I like the Calvin Miller quote you shared. Thanks! Someone recommended Timothy Keller’s book, The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness, and the takeaway quote from his book is, “The essence of gospel-humility is not thinking more of myself or thinking less of myself, it is thinking of myself less.”

  6. Lisa, this is such a great message and very timely for me. I have been struggling with a lack of confidence in my efforts to always maintain my humility. I had quite forgotten that you can be both at the same time. I guess I viewed confidence as pride and I will avoid that at any cost…often times to my own detriment. The C.S. Lewis quote has been really impactful in my journey to finding that balance. Wonderful post!

    Shelbee
    http://www.shelbeeontheedge.com

    1. I think we can walk in confidence without pride, Shelbee. C.S. Lewis definitely knows how to inspire us!

  7. Lisa, this is such a good post! So many good quotes but this one stopped me: “Humility is the perfect antidote to the self-love that poisons human relationships.” When I watch social media, the poison is so evident. I heard it said years ago (and truly cannot remember who said it) that once you think you are filled with humility, you are filled with pride. I host a linkup on Wednesdays, “Let’s Have Coffee”, and hope you would consider adding this post tomorrow. Blessings!

  8. I’ve read Andrew Murray’s book on humility several times. It’s always encouraging! Humility is something that I need to work on constantly. Pride is such a deceptive thing to creep in when we’re least expecting it. Glad you shared this at our One Word linkup!

    1. I appreciated Andrew Murray’s book too. I highly recommend R.T. Kendall’s book, The Power of Humility: Living Like Jesus and Dr. Stuart Scott’s book, From Pride to Humility – A Biblical Perspective. Both are excellent! Yes, pride is a subtle snake that seems to slither in unaware until it rears its ugly head.

    1. Yes. I can see how that could be since ‘God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ Humility is His nature, so when we walk in humility, we are reflecting who He is.

  9. Thanks so much for sharing your post with us at the Exploring World Religions Linkup 9 so that we can better understand each other through our religion, faith, and beliefs. Tried to pin on Pinterest last night and again just now but it wouldn’t pin.

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