As Christians, we want to follow in Jesus Christ’s footsteps. Therefore, one of the traits expected to manifest in us is humility. Jesus was known for being humble, so His followers must be the same. So, what are the characteristics of humility in the Bible?
If you want to pursue humility, check out the following verses to give you ideas on how to be humble:
Dependent on God
1. Oppressed but Favored by the Lord
Not everyone is a fighter, but with God, a person oppressed by others can find refuge. As long as you are humble and you do not harm anyone, the Lord will fight for you if you are humble and do not harm anyone. He will avenge you against those who insult or mock you. Moreover, He will bless you up in front of them.
“He mocks proud mockers but shows favor to the humble and oppressed.” (Proverbs 3:34)
2. Fear God Out of Reverence
A wise person acknowledges God’s sovereignty. That is why they do their best to be humble. They know they have nothing to boast before the Lord.
“Wisdom’s instruction is to fear the LORD, and humility comes before honor.” (Proverbs 15:33)
3. Relies on God’s Grace
A humble person knows their weaknesses, yet they find hope in God’s grace. They find courage and strength in prayers and God’s promises.
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12: 9-10)
4. Trusts God for the Future
Among the characteristics of humility in the Bible that you should know about is living a worry-free life. A humble person knows nothing is certain in this world, but the Lord is in control. That is why they surrender tomorrow to Him.
“Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’ As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil.” (James 4:14-16)
5. Waits for God to Lift Them Up
While nothing is wrong in striving to reach your dreams, it becomes pride when you base your success on worldly positions and wealth. Competing with other people to prove you are better will only cause you insecurities. On the other hand, humble people do not compete with others. Instead, they wait for God’s favor and proper timing for success.
“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” (James 4:10)
6. Values Others’ Interests More
A humble person cares more about the welfare and interests of others. They do not prioritize their own ambitions. Rather, they think about what is best for everyone. In short, they put others before themselves.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” (Philippians 2:3-4)
7. Associates with People from Lower Socioeconomic Level
Humble people are not proud, and they can live in harmony with all kinds of people. In addition, they are willing to socialize with the weak and poor. They do not think of them as less important people.
“Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.” (Romans 12:16)
8. Does Not Praise Their Own Selves
If you want to be humble, start by resisting the temptation to praise yourself. Instead, you should wait for others to commend your good works rather than flaunting them.
“Let someone else praise you, and not your own mouth; an outsider, and not your own lips.” (Proverbs 27:2)
9. Is Not Arrogant
In connection to no. 8, humility in the Bible will tell you to avoid exalting yourself. You do not have to act and talk proudly to be acknowledged by others. Instead, you wait for the Lord to exalt you in your community.
“For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Luke 14:11)
10. Honors Seniority
Humble people know how to submit to those who are senior to them, whether in age or position. They respect them and their authority.
“In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’” (1 Peter 5:5)
11. Bears with Others in Gentleness and Patience
Moreover, the characteristics of humility in the Bible include gentleness and patience. Christians must learn to deal with each other gently and patiently.
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” (Ephesians 4:2)
12. Has a Servant-Heart
Jesus has a heart of servanthood, and it can be seen in how he washed His disciples’ feet. In the same way, He instructed His disciples to serve each other as well. Those with higher positions in leadership must be able to bend lower and serve their constituents.
“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)
Pursues God’s Righteousness Through His Grace
13. Repents from Sin
A humble person turns their back on their sins and genuinely repents them. This is their first step in receiving God’s grace.
“if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)
14. Acts with Justice and Mercy
Other characteristics of humility in the Bible include being just and merciful. Knowing they are unworthy recipients of God’s grace, they treat others with mercy too. They also treat people with equality and fairness.
“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)
15. Acknowledges They are Not Righteous on Their Own
Humble individuals know they can never be righteous on their own. They know they are sinners who need a Savior. That is why they do not better than others.
“As it is written: ‘There is no one righteous, not even one;’” (Romans 3:10)
16. Knows Salvation is Through God’s Grace Alone
And when it comes to salvation, they know they can also be saved through God’s grace in Christ Jesus. They can only access it with genuine faith and surrender. Salvation is God’s gift and not a result of humans’ good works.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Ask God for Help
If you are having a hard time applying these characteristics of humility in the Bible, seek God’s wisdom. Pray and ask for help from the Holy Spirit so you can start living these traits.
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