What is humility? James says, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up” (v.10). So, what is humility? How does it work in our lives? Does it make us extremely shy and timid? Does the humble person always give in to others? Is the practice of humility the equivalent of making yourself a rug others can step on? What is it and what is it not? This passage describes biblical humility. Consider the qualities of a humble man.
- The humble man submits to the will of God (v.7). This is the foundation of all other acts of true humility. Humility begins by giving God first place in our decisions, our action and our motivations.
- The humble man repents of his sins (v.8) and mourns over his disobedience (v.9). We demonstrate pride when we are unwilling to admit and correct wrong in our lives. A humble man has a broken and a contrite heart (Psalm 51:17) in the sight of God.
- The humble man refuses to speak evil of his brother in the Lord (v.11). He recognizes one lawgiver who is truly righteous and able to declare judgment on others (v.12). He leaves that judgment to God.
- The humble man refuses to boast about what he is going to do (v.13-16). Rather, he says, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that (v.15).
- The humble man recognizes that his every failure to do good is sin (v.17) and therefore depends entirely on the Lord. He does not take pride in his holiness but understands how far short he falls.
Compare these qualities to your own life. How do you match up? Do you practice humility in these five ways? Choose ones that you need the most work on. Ask for God’s help in this area. Determine how you will practice this grace of humility today.