by Bobby Davis
Humility is a subject that makes for uncomfortable discussion—and probably for good reason, since most of us realize we need more of it. (Of course, those of us who don’t realize this really need it!)
Many are never quite sure how to define it, and while humility and humiliation sound very similar, the difference is profound. Humility is synonymous with meekness, lowliness, and submissiveness; while humiliation is synonymous with degradation, dishonor, and shame.
But what value does God place upon humility? We don’t have to go very far to find an example. According to Numbers 12:3, “The man Moses was very humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth.” Now watch what happens when his sister Miriam and brother Aaron put him down, out of contempt for his Ethiopian wife Zipporah. The Lord strongly rebukes them saying, “Hear now My words: If there is a prophet among you, I, the Lord, make Myself known to him in a vision; I speak to him in a dream. Not so with My servant Moses; He is faithful in all My house. I speak with him face to face, even plainly, and not in dark sayings; and he sees the form of the Lord. Why then were you not afraid to speak against My servant Moses?” Numbers 12:6–8.
The Ultimate Example
The apostle Paul urges us towards humility by pointing us to the ultimate example: “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” Philippians 2:5–8.
Jesus Christ emptied Himself of all His power, glory, and majesty, then humbled Himself by taking on the likeness of fallen man, paying for our salvation with His life! Constantly urging us towards genuine humility, the Master says in Matthew 23:12: “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Humility Brings Peace
The South African minister, Andrew Murray, wrote these striking words which in my mind have become a sure path to serenity: “Humility is perfect quietness of heart. It is for me to have no trouble; never to be fretted or vexed or irritated or sore or disappointed. It is to expect nothing, to wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing done against me. It is to be at rest when nobody praises me and when I am blamed or despised. It is to have a blessed home in the Lord where I can go in and shut the door and kneel to my Father in secret and be at peace as in a deep sea of calmness when all around is trouble. It is the fruit of the Lord Jesus Christ’s redemptive work on Calvary’s cross, manifested in those of His own who are definitely subject to the Holy Spirit.”
Do you want that peace and humility in your life today? You can have it! “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.” James 4:10.