Humility is recognizing and acknowledging my total dependence upon the Lord and seeking His will for every decision.
Several Hebrew words are translated humble. One is anah, which means “to stoop, be downcast, bow down; to be afflicted; to weaken oneself; to mishandle.” King David expressed humility of soul by wearing sackcloth and by fasting. (See Psalm 35:13.)
Another Hebrew word for humble is kana, which means “to bend the knee, to be brought into subjection, subdue.” God used this word in II Chronicles 7:14: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven….”
The Rewards of Humility
The greatest reward of humility is that of becoming like the Lord Jesus Christ. He identifies His character as being “meek and lowly in heart.” The word lowly means “not rising far from the ground” and expresses being brought low with grief and being lowly in spirit.
Our Choice: Humble Ourselves or Be Humbled
God appeals to all of us to take the initiative to humble ourselves. If we fail to do this, He will humble us through circumstances, opposition, infirmities, or weaknesses. “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time” (I Peter 5:6).
Notice that we are first and foremost to humble ourselves in the eyes of the Lord, not necessarily in the eyes of others. He can see the true condition of our hearts, whether we are flattering ourselves with compliments or sincerely abasing ourselves and exalting Him.
King Nebuchadnezzar learned what happens when a man fails to humble himself. However, after being humbled by God, he gave proper glory to the Lord: “At the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation” (Daniel 4:34).
- When people disagree with you, do you argue to defend your position?
- Are you hurt when those whom you dislike are honored?
- Do you find it difficult to admit you are wrong?
- Do you inwardly react to criticism?
- Do you give your opinions before being asked for them?
- Are you more concerned about your reputation or God’s?
- Do you accept praise rather than deflecting it?
- Do you react when you do not receive credit you are due?
- Do you compare yourself with others rather than God?