Scripture tells us that "knowledge puffs up" (1 Corinthians 8:1). It is so easy to get puffed up. We all know stuff and this stuff-knowing fuels our pride. But we know that God opposes the proud, and commands us to "humble ourselves."
We are told to "clothe [ourselves], all of [us], with humility toward one another, for 'God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble'" (1 Peter 5:5).
So, what is humility?
Humility does not mean having a low self-esteem. It is possible to have a low self-esteem and be prideful at the same time. I know because I've been there.
Rather, humility means having a right understanding of who we are in light of who God is.
Humility does not mean downplaying the gifts and talents he has given us. Humility does not mean denying the abilities God has given us.
Rather, humility leads us to serve others with the gifts, talents and skills God has graciously given us. In Phillipians 2, Paul calls us to have the same mind as Christ, who humbled himself and took on the form of a servant. We are able to honor others and serve others with the skills, talents, and gifts God has given us when we "in humility count others more significant than [ourselves]."
For an even better look at "What is Humility?" John Piper explains what God has told us about humility:
1. Humility begins with a sense of subordination to God in
2. Humility does not feel a right to better treatment than Jesus
3. Humility asserts truth not to bolster ego with control or
with triumphs in debate, but as service to Christ and love to the
4. Humility knows it is dependent on grace for all knowing and
5. Humility knows it is fallible, and so considers criticism and
learns from it; but also knows that God has made provision for
human conviction and that he calls us to persuade others.
Read his full article for the Scriptures he uses for each of these five points.
Oh, how I long to stay humble--but how very often I see pride rearing its ugly head into my thoughts and actions. Help me to stay close to the cross--where I can more clearly see the holiness of You and the sinfulness in me. Father, help me to actively be humbling myself, counting others as more significant. Like the song says, make me to be a servant, humble and meek.
This post was submitted to the Carnival of Beauty sponsored by following an unknown path. This week the theme is The Beauty of Humility and is being hosted by Scribbling by Blair. Join us next week for The Beauty of . . . (your choice) over at Leslie's Lux Venit.