After preaching the Monday night service of a Striving Together meeting a few years ago, a visiting pastor asked me a question: “How do you stay humble?”
That question was a first, and I was taken aback by it. I figured he was expecting a deeply insightful answer, but I didn’t have one. God makes humility very simple—He just tells us to humble ourselves.
Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time—1 Peter 5:6
Humbling ourselves is an action, a choice. We recognize God’s greatness and our smallness, and we choose to acknowledge our dependence on Him.
The person who is consistently making this choice, however, will display some evidences of humility. Here are five marks of a person who is growing in biblical humility:
- Seeks guidance in prayer from above
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.—James 1:5
- Seeks godly counsel
Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.—Proverbs 11:14
- Admits failure
I acknowledge my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.—Psalm 32:5
- Defers credit to others
For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?—1 Corinthians 4:7
- Gives glory to God
That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.—1 Corinthians 1:31
I would reword my preacher friend’s humility question from “How do you stay humble?” to “Are you growing in biblical humility?”
Or maybe an even better question: Are these marks of humility regular patterns in your life?