By Ruth Verbree

May 9, 2022

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Humility is essential in living our best life! Why? Because with the virtue of humility comes wisdom, and with wisdom, we make the right decisions. And there are different attributes of being humble that give us this wisdom and decision making.

These attributes affect our whole life: our health, our wealth, and our relationships, including a right relationship with God. The Old and the New Testaments speak a lot about humility and it’s important to take note of this. 

Definitions Of Humility

Definitions Of Humility
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Humility sometimes is thought of as a negative quality to possess, being meek or weak. You may think it portrays a very low self-esteem or being less than others. The dictionary has different meanings and one is lowliness of mind, or modesty.

Another definition says unpretentious, having a low opinion of oneself. There are different meanings of the word humility, but I don’t think Jesus portrays humility as being an underdog or a doormat. Humility doesn’t mean allowing people to walk all over you. In fact, Jesus stood up and was not afraid to speak the truth. Jesus spoke with authority to all people; it didn’t matter whether they were rich or poor, or what color their skin was, or whether they were Jew or Gentile. Jesus was humble, but certainly not weak. 

In searching for other definitions, I came across this one and I like it the best. Humility is:

Freedom From Pride Or Arrogance! 

When I think of people in my life who I respect and want to follow as leaders or influencers, I definitely am more attracted to those who I believe are free from pride or arrogance! I am more likely to follow those who don’t think they are “better” than me, but rather believe that we are all created in the image of God and we all have value to bring to the table. I am attracted to those who have the qualities I aim to possess, like humility. When people are sending out vibes of pride and arrogance, I am much more likely to tune out or stop listening, but if they are humble, I am more likely to tune in and want to engage with them.

Just recently, as I was walking down the hallway of a hotel I was staying in, a well-dressed gentleman walking by stopped to ask me a question. I immediately thought – what a nice gentleman this is – but I had no idea who he was. Engaged in conversation, when I asked what he did I found out he was the Chief Financial Officer of the hotel. As I reflected later about our encounter, I don’t think any CFO has ever stopped to talk to me in a hotel before, let alone any CFO anywhere.

It was delightful to think that he felt at liberty to speak to me and did not think of himself as too good for me because of his status at the hotel. He was not prideful nor arrogant; he was really the exact opposite. He was a man with authority, yet a very humble person doing his job and also engaging with people he met. 

That encounter makes me want to support the hotel again. Not only was this good for the hotel business (word-of-mouth advertising), but I also left that encounter with a sense of real value and feeling respected. The characteristic of humility can really have a positive impact on others. 

How Does Humility Impact Our Life?

It’s very easy to get up on a pedestal at times, or another way of saying this is to get up on our high horse. When we do this, we really impact those around us (and not in a good way) and it also impacts our own life. This makes other people feel uncomfortable or they may feel as though we are looking down on them in a condescending way. This is not how the Bible calls us to live our life. We can be sure that when we are living and acting this way, we are about to have a tumble. Pride usually comes before a fall.

Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.

Proverbs 16:18 (NIV)

The opposite is true too and this is so encouraging. The Bible speaks about how humility brings us wisdom and wisdom leads to a healthy life in every aspect of our life: our health, our wealth and our relationships!. 

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.

Proverbs 11:2 (NIV)

Humility is the fear of the Lord; its wages are riches and honor and life.

Proverbs 22:4 (NIV)

I think if we are honest with ourselves, we all want to be wise. So this means we must seek to live humbly in the eyes of the Lord. 

The question is then…

How Do We Develop Humility?

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I believe that if God calls us to be humble, then there are ways to practice humility and learn to develop this virtue.

God calls us to treat everyone with value. We are all created in the image of God, and no one is worth more or less than anyone else. Understanding this is the first step in humility. One way to practice this is to begin to listen more closely to other people. Engage in conversation with someone you might not normally engage with, and really listen to what they have to say. They have value and you might learn from them. By intentionally listening, you are practicing being in the present moment. (Like my encounter with the CFO). 

Possessing humility is accepting ourselves for who we are, with our good qualities and our limitations, knowing that God will give us the strength we need in order to live out the purpose He has called us to. However, sometimes as we become comfortable and confident in our jobs and careers, we think we have all the answers. We become a bit too sure of ourselves and may even begin to think we are infallible. Humility is knowing we are not always right, and we do not always have all the answers. Knowing when we need to reach out and ask for help is a form of humility. Humility is asking for help even if you’re the CEO!

Finally, I would say it’s a good practice to ask for feedback from a trusted friend or spouse, or from someone who knows you well and will give you an honest answer. It’s not always easy taking feedback with open ears and an open mind, but it will serve you well if you want to grow and develop the virtue of humility.  

Read these 41 Amazing Bible Verses About Confidence!

Without further ado, here is a list of 11 attributes of being humble.

11 Attributes Of Being Humble

  1. Humility values each individual.
  2. Humility is freedom from arrogance.
  3. Humility is being willing to ask for help when needed.
  4. Humility is speaking the truth with authority.
  5. Humility is knowing your strengths.
  6. Humility is knowing your limitations.
  7. Humility is being grateful for what you have.
  8. Humility is being respectful of others. 
  9. Humility is non-judgemental. 
  10.  Humility is a down to earth and modest self-perception.
  11.  Humility is knowing your worth in Christ.

In the digital age we live in, the quality of humility may seem old-fashioned in the eyes of the new generation, but we know that the Bible is just as active and living today as it was in the days of long ago. Let’s strive to develop humility rather than take on the prideful approach so that we can impact those around us just as Jesus would. 

Remember that Jesus was born in a lowly manger; he put others before himself, and he was never boastful. He led and taught crowds of people throughout his life and was never condescending, but compassionate to all he met. Jesus taught his disciples to serve, which is an act of humility in itself.

Here’s 20 Promises From God To Stand On!

The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

Matthew 23:11-12 (NIV)

Remember the letters…WWJD? What Would Jesus Do?
Ruth Verbree

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