We have heard our parents telling us to be humble or to build in ourselves the virtue of “Humility”. We have been told and taught by our parents that one can always reach the zenith of his own life only when one is humble. Now the question arises what is humility or the definition of Humility? According to Google, the definition stands to be the quality of having a modest or low view of one’s importance. According to the Holy, Bible Humility is the foundation of all virtues. It is seen as meekness, lowliness, and absence of self. Who could be greater examples of Humility for us other than Jesus Christ himself and Our Lady i.e. Mother Mary?
Jesus is the Son of the ever-living God being born as a man and humbled himself till the last drop of his blood humbled himself so much that He accepted to die on the Cross. The same goes for Our Lady- Mother Mary after being heralded by the Angel Gabriel that she would be the mother of God and when she goes to visit her cousin Elizabeth. St. Elizabeth Greets her saying Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.In other words,St. Elizabeth greets our lady in becoming the Mother of God, yet she remains humble.
According to the Gospel of St. Matthew (5:3-12). Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount or ‘The Beatitudes’ He said:
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
In other words, God’s abundant blessings will be upon them especially those:-
- who are meek- humble people,
- those who are always trying to make peace
- those who are merciful in their words and actions towards everyone around them.
Humility is very much close to Obedience. And because of this a lot of Prophets in the Old Testament were rewarded by God because of their obedience that came with humility. A big example would be Moses. The calling of Moses is a remarkable story. As the Bible shows us, incredible honor was given to this man with incredible humility. What shaped Moses’ character? What made him the most humble man on the earth? The humility of Moses was seen at the burning bush. He said that he was not great, neither in the past nor now (Exodus 4:10). It is interesting to see that after accepting God’s commission or God’s commands, whenever God asked or commanded Moses to do something, the Bible records, “And Moses did as he was commanded”. This clearly states he showed complete obedience to God. Moses learned to follow God’s command all the time. (Proverbs 3:5-6). Even with all the great miracles done through him and all the attention given to him, Moses still gave credit to God. Moses knew God was always his leader and not him. This humility carried him far with God. On two separate occasions, God was so angry with the Israelites that He offered to destroy them all and start over with Moses. We know that it was Moses who had changed God’s mind and decisions. Even when Moses’ authority was challenged on several occasions, he never showed his power, No rather Moses prostrated himself and let God work it out. At times Moses even interceded for his accusers (Numbers 12:1, 13; 16:1-4, 20-22). Moses took care of those whom God had put under his care. Moses never got busy handling their problems. Moses had no selfish ambitions. Because of Moses’ humility, God was able to use him powerfully for his work. God used Moses to write the first five books of the Old Testament. God used Moses as a prophet and as a type of Christ. Moses was shown with Christ and Elijah on Mount Tabor at the Transfiguration of Jesus.
Another example of Humility in today’s time would be Ratan Tata who is one of the richest men in India. There is a reason why people look up to him with immense respect and yearn to work under his brand name. He is known for his vision and ability to lead and innovate. But there have been times when he has won people’s hearts with his humility. Instances such as: –
The time when he worked as a blue-collar employee for his own company: – Despite being born in a wealthy family, he worked as a blue-collar employee at Tata Steel, Jamshedpur till 1971.
- The time when he personally visited the families of all the employees who were affected during 26/11: – Apart from personally visiting the families, he gave full compensation to every employee along with taking complete responsibility of educating their children, a full medical facility for their entire family and dependents for the rest of their lives. He further provided the consent of all the loans and advances irrespective of the amount.
- The time when he waved back to a driver: – One Day a boss asked his driver about his day and the driver replied that he had seen Ratan Tata while driving. The boss found it no big deal but the drive replied with a big grin “I waved at him and he waved back.”
Humility is at the heart of holiness, and union with the Creator is about loving all those in our path, not holding ourselves above them. Humility is the only ground from which true love can spring. For humility is a giving up of self for something greater and it enables us to see ourselves for what we truly are: created in the image and likeness of God, wounded through sin, yet transformed through love. According to one of the writers in WikiHow- It’s hard to be humble,” says an old country song, “when you’re perfect in every way.” Of course, few people actually think they’re perfect in every way. But it still can be pretty hard to be humble, especially if you live in a society that encourages competition and individuality. Yet even in such a culture, humility remains an important virtue. Learning to be humble is of paramount importance in most spiritual traditions, and humility can help you develop more fully and enjoy richer relationships with others, as well as create opportunities and earn you respect.
Bible Verses on Humility
Colossians 3:12 ,”Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”
Ephesians 4:2,” Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”
James 4:6 ,”But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.””
James 4:10,” Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”
1 Peter 5:5 ,”In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” “
Ways to be humble
Accepting one’s own mistakes and working on one’s own shortcomings.
In other words, when we are wrong we accept our mistakes instead of giving justifications for our faults. People will respect us more once we admit our faults.
A heart of Gratitude.
In other words, always accepting the happenings of our heart whether good or bad with Gratitude because it happened.
Being More Like Christ.
This is very important. Being God and yet Man. He never tried being Greater than his God the Father.
Amitting we are not good or best in everything.
We all are talented in some way or the other but there can be people who may be excellent in the job we are not. Instead of letting this devour our inner peace we must accept it and take it positively.
Be grateful, not boastful.
We might have excelled in many aspects of our lives because of the right decisions we have made in our lives. Instead of boasting about it, we must be grateful that we were able to make these choices because of which we are where we are today.
While talking or having a conversation every individual participating in the conversation or is in the conversation might have their own likes and dislikes and their thinking process may be different from ours this furthermore doesn’t mean they have bad or worst choices. We need to be considerate while someone else is talking by not interrupting and waiting for that person to finish speaking.
This is a tough thing to do in this 21st century. It’s not easy at all yet we must try the maximum number of times to appreciate others’ work, efforts. It’s important to compliment. You never know it may be the 1st time a particular individual is maybe getting appreciated for his or her work.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
An important part or aspect of being humble is knowing you will make mistakes and trying to avoid making the same mistakes instead try ways to accomplish your set goals.
It is important to Contemplate moral texts and proverbs about humility. We ought to pray for it, meditate on it, or we can always talk to someone and seek help and ways in mastering this field. It can be our friends, family, lover, or Spiritual person.
The book Proverbs of the Old Testament is filled with warnings for those who refuse to be humble while the New Testament is full of blessings for those who follow the path of humility. We will surely miss out on the blessed, abundant life that God wants for us if we refuse to let get of our pride and follow His purpose in our lives. We should be encouraged by Bible verses about humility and start choosing today to come humbly before God so that He can lift us up.
Author of this blog: Mary Margaret Anthony
Mary is currently pursuing her professional course in Bachelor of Education and belongs to St John’s Parish, Sealdah( Kolkata, India) Kolkata Diocese.
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