Humility, and the Danger of Pride
The Bible says that true humility and fear of Yahweh “lead to riches, honor, and long life.” Proverbs 22:4.
In both the Old and New Testaments, we’re shown that humility is essential for establishing a right relationship with Yahweh and with people. We also need humility have and maintain a proper perception of ourselves.
What do the scriptures teach us about humility?
In the Bible, humility being the opposite of pride and arrogance, is a quality of character with which we might accurately assess ourselves using modest self-perception. Also, when we maintain a humble attitude, we can truly realize our complete dependence upon Almighty Yahweh.
The Hebrew word for humility “anavah,” carries the idea of crouching down, bowing low to the ground. Let’s explore scriptures related to humility in the Bible:
1) Yahweh Gives Grace to the Humble
Humility is a character quality that is of supreme value in the eyes of Yahweh. James 4:7 states “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, YHWH resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:10 says “Humble yourselves in the sight of YHWH, and he shall lift you up.” Also note in 1 Peter 5:5 “Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for YHWH resists the proud and gives grace to the humble.” Here are a few more references on Yahweh giving grace to the humble that you can look up! Proverbs 3:34, Proverbs 11:2, Proverbs 15:33. Proverbs 18:12, Proverbs 22:42, Chronicles 7:14 and Isaiah 66:2
2) We Must Become Less
Yahweh’s greatest servants are those who seek only to exalt Yahshua; after Yahweh Himself of course.
When Yahshua came on the scene here on earth, Yohanan / John the Immerser / Baptist faded into the background, letting Yahshua the Messiah alone be magnified. John knew that being least in Yahweh’s kingdom is what makes one great; “Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” Matthew 11:11 “He must become greater; I must become less.” John 3:3 And He [Yahshua] said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3–4 See also: Matthew 23:11–12, Luke 14:11, 1 Peter 5:6 and Proverbs 16:19
3) We must value Others Above Yourself
Selfish ambition and vain conceit are not compatible with humility, but rather are born from pride. Brotherly love for one another will motivate us to act humbly toward others and value them above ourselves; “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.” Philippians 2:3 “Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.” Ephesians 4:2 “Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud; instead, associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own estimation.” Romans 12:16
4) Clothe Yourself with Humility
The believer’s life involves inner transformation. By the down payment of power Yahweh gives us, (upon the laying on of hands by an ordained Elder after baptism), called the holy spirit, we are given the opportunity to change, by growth in overcoming sin - from our old sinful nature into the image of the Messiah.
Yahshua, who is the ultimate example, demonstrated the greatest act of humility by emptying Himself of supernatural glory to become a human. He then willingly gave up that life as the supreme sacrifice for sin.
True humility means seeing ourselves as Yahweh sees us - with all the worth and worthiness that He ascribes to us, but with no more value than anyone else, submitting to Him willingly. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of Elohim, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto El, which is your reasonable service.” Romans 12:1 “Therefore, as Yahweh’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Colossians 3:12
A few more scriptures to consider on clothing oneself with humility: James 3:13, Zephaniah 2:3
Being clothed with humility is SO important, as one cannot even “get to step one” - of entering a relationship with our Father in heaven unless we first come to Him with humility. We may not fully understand and embrace the good news of what our Savior has done for us, unless we first understand the bad news; that we are “a mess,” and we need a Savior - we need someone to come and redeem us and pull us out of the pit. So, we must understand ‘step one,’- which is to humble yourself before Yahweh Most High. We can think of “putting on” humility like we put on a garment - being clothed with humility. This is the opposite of pride and arrogance, and narcissism.
Some people, down deep inside, feel inadequate, and know that they don’t measure up, and so seek to cover that with a shell of pride and arrogance. What is needed is a complete utter humility, particularly when it comes to our relationship with our Heavenly Father. He will tell us who we are. He will lift us up, and give us a place on the throne next to our Savior Yahshua when He returns. He will “exalt us in due time.” 1 Peter 5:6
When we become believers, we have given up our former “old man,” (Rom 6:6), ie; identity - whatever sinfulness we had before, we give up and take on a new identity; the Messiah Yahshua living in us.
5) The Danger of Pride.
This is a sin that is in every place man is; often it is a silent sin because it is this sin itself, that prevents men from admitting to it: the sin of pride. “If thou hast done foolishly in lifting up thyself, or if thou hast thought evil, lay thine hand upon thy mouth. Proverbs 30:32 A few other Proverbs that refer to pride: Proverbs 8:13, Proverbs 16:18, Proverbs 6:16-19, Proverbs 3:34
Pride is one of the most harmful and deceitful sins, even though it drives mankind to achieve, they achieve in pride. What do we truly have to be proud of? ie; “Who do we think we are?!” Think about that. It is Almighty Yahweh who created the heavens and the earth, the universe! …and all that is within, including us, our lungs, and the air we breathe into them! “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?” Job 38:4
In all that we do, it must be for Yahweh. Any other work is a wasted work. “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth YHWH require of you, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your Elohim?” Micah 6:8
Remember the parable of the Pharisee and the publican. (Luke 18:9-14).
6) Lastly, let us look at a “different” kind of ‘pride.’ “Thus says YHWH, let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glory, glory in this; that he understands and knows Me, that I am Yahweh which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith Yahweh.” Jeremiah 9:23-24 May we ever exalt Almighty Yahweh – HalleluYah!