It dawned on me this morning that many people – myself included, all too frequently – have a wrong idea about the word humility. Being humble is not sitting in a corner, head hung low, trying to be inconspicuous.
Think about this. Jesus was sinless, right? If so, then His life exemplifies humility. So when He blasted the Pharisees and teachers of the law, was He being humble? The obvious answer, when you consider His sinlessness, is, “Yes.” Yet that seems so contradictory to us.
Humility, from a true biblical perspective then, cannot mean having a worm-mentality. “I’m worthless. I’m nothing. I can’t do anything.” No! Jesus – and even His followers – would never have accomplished much with such a mindset. Then humility must mean something else.
Try this idea: True humility is thinking God’s thoughts about ourselves. “That’s an interesting idea, Tom, but if that’s right, then what does it look like in everyday life?”
I’m glad you asked.
Well, it can’t mean having haughty, condescending attitude toward others, because Scripture tells us, “in humility count others more significant than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3). Yet it also cannot mean that we have an I’m-worthless attitude when God’s Word tells us that “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Don’t act like you’re better than others, because from God’s perspective, you’re not. But don’t act like you’re worthless and insignificant, because from God’s perspective, you’re of great value.
That’s certainly not the complete biblical perspective on humility, but it’s a good start. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to post below.