The Importance of Humility: Proverbs 3:34; James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5-7
Humility is a virtue that is often overlooked or misunderstood in our society. Many people associate humility with weakness, low self-esteem, or lack of confidence. However, the Bible teaches us that humility is a sign of strength, wisdom, and grace. Humility is the opposite of pride, which is one of the most destructive sins that can ruin our relationship with God and others.
The book of Proverbs contains many verses that contrast humility and pride, and show us the benefits of being humble and the dangers of being proud. For example, Proverbs 3:34 says, “He has no use for conceited people, but shows favor to those who are humble.” (GNT) This verse is quoted twice in the New Testament by James and Peter, who both emphasize the importance of humility for Christians. James 4:6 says, “But the grace that God gives is even stronger. As the scripture says, ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.'” (GNT) 1 Peter 5:5-7 says, “In the same way you younger people must submit yourselves to your elders. And all of you must put on the apron of humility, to serve one another; for the scripture says, ‘God resists the proud, but shows favor to the humble.’ Humble yourselves, then, under God’s mighty hand, so that he will lift you up in his own good time. Leave all your worries with him, because he cares for you.” (GNT)
These verses teach us several things about humility:
- Humility is a choice. We must submit ourselves to God and to others, and put on the apron of humility. Humility is not something that happens to us by accident or by force. It is a deliberate attitude of recognizing our dependence on God and our need for his grace.
- Humility is a service. We must serve one another with humility, not seeking our own glory or advantage, but looking out for the interests of others. Humility is not self-degradation or self-pity. It is self-forgetfulness and self-sacrifice.
- Humility is a blessing. God shows favor to those who are humble, and gives them more grace. He also lifts them up in his own good time, and cares for their worries. Humility is not a curse or a burden. It is a source of joy and peace.
Humility is not easy to practice in a world that values pride and success. It requires constant dependence on God and his word, and constant resistance to the devil and his lies. However, humility is worth pursuing because it honors God and benefits us and others. As Proverbs 22:4 says, “The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life.” (ESV)