Last weekend, our church had its monthly Bible group discussions where we discussed Humility. As the minister, I was in charge of guiding people through the discussion. I often kept referring to the scripture quoting verses on Humility which would elaborate better on the virtue. I noticed there are not many direct mentions of the Word humility in the scripture which prompted me to ask my group members, ‘How many times is humility mentioned in the Bible?’
The number of times the Bible mentions the Word humility varies depending on the version. The King James Version mentions Humility seven times; 3 in the Old Testament and 4 in the New Testament. The New International Version (NIV) mentions the Word humility 14 times; 6 in the Old Testament and 8 in the New Testament. Some of these verses are 1 Peter 5:5, Proverbs 22:4, and Colossians 3:12.
I invite you to join me in the article below as we delve into what the scripture says about Humility. I have listed examples of Humility which we will look at as given in the scripture. Also, we have highlighted characteristics of Humility as described in the Bible. Read on to find out more Biblical teachings of Humility.
What the Bible says about Humility
Several verses in the Bible talk about Humility. The scripture describes how followers of the Word should lead in Humility. Reading through the different verses in the scripture, we learn that God rewards those who carry themselves with Humility. In Luke 14:11, it mentions that God will exalt the humble.
In James 4:6, Proverbs 22:4, and James 4:6, the Bible promises the humble richness, greatness, grace, and honor. Based on this, we learn that God will exalt humble people while proud people will be opposed. Also, we read in 2 Chronicles 7:14 that the Lord promises to listen to our prayers and requests if we go to Him in Humility. Hence, we should be meek when reaching out to Him.
According to the scripture, Jesus Christ set an excellent example of Humility. In Galatians 2:20, the Bible talks of how Jesus saved us by dying on the cross to save us. Through this, Jesus displayed a greater form of Humility. Apart from that, Christ’ showcased Humility during his ministerial work. For instance, he associated with those considered sinners; he washed his disciples’ feet. Also, Jesus listened to everyone without judgment.
What does Humility mean according to the Bible?
According to the Bible, it interprets Humility as lowliness, selflessness, and meekness. We learn that being humble means one lacks pride, just as Christ was. Through his example, the scripture describes what Humility means. He performed acts of service to his followers and died on the cross, representing Humility.
In Colossians 3:12, the Bible mentions Humility as one of the virtues of God’s chosen ones. Some of the personalities in the Bible, such as Moses, King Saul, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Paul, and John the Baptist, lived in Humility. Therefore, we can say there is a link between grace and Humility, which the Bible depicts.
According to Philippians 2:3-4, it describes Humility as thinking of others better than oneself. In this way, it refers to Humility as having the interests of others at heart along with yours. We can further term Humility as selflessness.
Examples of Humility in the Bible
Detreunomy 8:2-3 uses the example of Israelites while in the wilderness. The scripture states that God tested the Israelites’ Humility while instilling virtues.
1 Peter 5:6states thatwe should seek God in Humility as He will exaltthosewho will at the right time.
Mathew 23:11-12 says that favor will fall on those who are humble as they will be greater than those who exalt themselves.
Philippians 2:3-8 says that followers of the Word should resist the urge to place their ambition and needs before others. Also, the scripture advices that people should take the form of Christ’s Humility as an example. It mentions that despite Jesus being in the form of God, He humbled himself as a servant.
2 Chronicles 7:13-15 mentions that God will forgive those who seek Him in Humility. Also, he will hear the prayers and pleas of those who go to Him while humble.
In 1 Corinthians 15:9, Paul identifies himself as the least of the apostles. In this way, he is an example of Humility since he is not boastful of the favor and gifts bestowed upon him.
James 4:6 mentions that God will give grace to those who are humble. The scripture says God dislikes the proud and calls for people to draw near Him.
John 13:1-16 narrates Jesus’ act of service to His disciples as He washed their feet. Despite being the son of the highest, he humbled himself before his followers and washed their feet.
2 Corinthians 8:9 gives an example of Jesus Christ’s Humility. Despite being rich, Jesus carried himself as poor so that we could gain richness.
In Exodus 3:11, Moses questions his importance to God as He refers to himself in low regard despite leading the Israelites out of Egypt. In this way, he shows an example of Humility.
Characteristics of Humility in the Bible
We can learn the characteristics of Humility through different verses in the scripture. Let’s have a look at them below:
According to the scripture, a humble person is willing to be corrected and learn new ways. If one wants to be perceived as a know it all, they will lack Humility.
Listens to criticism
Jesus faced criticism, but that did not relent Him or make Him respond with pride. In 1 Peter 2:23, the scripture talks of how Jesus responded to criticism. He did not threaten or insult back. Jesus displays the true character of Humility by choosing not to react to criticism and taking it in stride.
Respects God’s Word
There is no more extraordinary being than God. As the Bible says, God will exalt those who seek Him in Humility. To be described as humble, one should respect God’s Word.
Willingness to forgive
God sent his only son to die on the cross to wipe away our sins. It is one of the most incredible displays of Humility in the Bible. We can use this example in our lives to forgive each other’s mistakes. Ephesians 4:31-32 mentions that we should put away all bitterness and instead be forgiving as God forgave us.
Service to others
In the Bible, John 13:1-16, we read of Jesus’ act of service to His followers. Despite Jesus being God’s only son, He washed his disciples’ feet as a form of service. It serves as an example to leaders of the importance of the virtue of Humility, as Jesus’ demonstrated.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.