Humility: A Divine Virtue

"Thank you is the best prayer that anyone can say.
I say that one a lot.
Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility and understanding".
– Alice Walker,

Humility is derived from the Latin word humilis, which may be translated as "humble", or "grounded". The opposite of humility is pride. In a religious context humility means recognition of 'self' in relation to God, acceptance of one's defects, and submission to divine grace. Humility as a virtue is a major theme of both the Old and New Testaments of the Holy Bible. In the Old Testament it is very aptly illustrated in the personality of Moses, who was exceedingly humble, and led the nation of Hebrews (Isralites) out of slavery in Egypt to the "Promised Land". In the New Testament references to humility are recorded in many places (Mathew 5:5–9, NIV).

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth; blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled; blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy; blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God; blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.

Further references from the Bible include:

  1. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather in humility value others above yourselves (Philippians 2:3, NIV);

  2. When pride comes, then comes disgrace; but with humility comes wisdom (Proverbs 11:2, NIV);

  3. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited (Romans 12:16, NIV);

  4. Pride brings a person low, but the lowly in spirit gain honor (Proverbs 29:23, NIV);

  5. Sitting down Jesus called the Twelve and said, "Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all" (Mark 9:35, NIV);

  6. Finally, all of you, be like–minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble (1 Peter 3:8, NIV);

  7. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up (James 4:10, NIV).

In Jesus Christ's behavior submission to unjust torture and execution in particular are examples of righteous humility. The Holy Bible is replete with references about a truly christian behavior to be followed by man.

In the present world scenario we find around us that many friendships, relationships, and marriages are on the rocks because of anger, greed, or pride. Simple courtesy, patience, and politeness is on the way out, giving way to arrogance and wars. What is needed is humility, harmony, and peace among all people. Certain points qualify for attention by us:

  1. Humility does not mean one is weak or worthless. It affirms an inherent worth in the person;

  2. It does not interfere with success of the person. Rather wealth, power and status lead to anxiety and arrogance;

  3. Humble behavior and politeness bring wisdom. Wisdom cannot be attained through arrogance, boasting and anger. We must respect the entire God's creation, which includes our fellow human beings;

  4. Humility means putting God and other persons ahead of our selfish interests;

  5. Self–righteousness is one of the extreme sins and must be avoided; and

  6. The Golden Rule spoken by Jesus is the best known quote from the Bible "Do to others as you would have them do to you – But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High,because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked (Luke 6:31–35, NIV).

In view of the above references and dictates from the Bible life by man on this earth can be lived more comfortably, fruitfully, and peacefully.


More by :  Dr. Frank S. K. Barar

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