The Need For Humility
In our last article we studied the sin of pride, so let’s spend some time considering the need for humility in the life of the Christian and why it is so necessary for our relationships with God and one another. It’s vitally important that we strive to develop humility because God desires it of us and there is danger of losing access to His grace without it. James wrote, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). The Christian must be humble to develop a submissive, obedient, and trusting faith in God. We must put our faith in Him, and not in ourselves to be saved (Eph. 2:8,9). But, we must also show humility in our relationships with one another. The apostle Paul said, “Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion” (Rom. 12:16). He also wrote, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself” (Phil. 2:3).
Developing humility can be a difficult lifelong task, and the moment we state we have obtained it, is the moment we should realize that we really haven’t. Christians are exhorted to grow in faith, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, and love (2 Pet. 1:5-7). We should also desire to become more humble as well, so let’s consider a few things we can do to maintain and develop this important attribute.
1. We must remember our spiritual situation in light of what God has done for us. We realized our lost and helpless situation in order to become a Christian, and if we remember what we have been saved from, it will help us stay humble before God in our Christian walk now. Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit” and “Blessed are those who mourn” (Matt. 5:3,4). Why did Jesus say that? Jesus knew it would be those who were humble enough to see their lost and sinful condition that would seek Him for salvation. It took a degree of humility to realize we were sinners and needed the grace of God to be saved. If we can remember how lost we were without God, and that it is His saving grace that continues to save us, we can learn the need to grow in humility. We can see examples of David doing this in texts like Psalm 38 and Psalm 51. When David considered his sins, it humbled him before the Lord.
2. We should strive to follow the example of Jesus, and consider His death on the cross. Jesus’ life was the perfect example of humility in action. He was the most powerful man that ever lived; yet He was also the humblest. Paul wrote that Jesus “Made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross” (Phil.2:7,8). We should study His life in order to follow His humble example, and then consider the power of what He did on the cross for us when we feel the urge to be prideful.
3. We should study the Bible everyday. By studying the Bible, we will see the great amount of emphasis placed on humility and the many dangers of being prideful. We can study great men and women of faith who lived humble lives, as well as examples of those who suffered the consequences of prideful behavior. Remember, God’s word was written for our learning and admonition (Rom. 15:4; 1 Cor. 10:11).
4. We must acknowledge our weaknesses while remembering the greatness of God. We live in a “me first” society. Contrary to the belief of many, the world does not revolve around any one particular individual. God loves all mankind and desires they all be saved (John 3:16). We need to consider our existence in regards to the big picture. An all powerful, all knowing, ever present God desires our salvation; and we must remember how He deserves our faithful submission. When we study and consider the holy attributes of God, it should remind us of the need to humbly submit to Him. -Ed