Unity in Humility


PrayerLord, I have given up my pride and turned away from my arrogance.  I am not concerned with great matters or with subjects too difficult for me.  Instead, I am content and at peace. As a child lies quietly in its mother's arms, so my heart is quiet within me (Psalm 131:1-2, GNT).

Help me, O Lord, to be humble before You and all others.  Hear my prayer. Forgive me for the times when arrogance and pride have ruled my speech and attitude.  I know that it is wrong to be vain.  However, I express smugness and insolence to my friends and associates regularly.  Give me a pure heart, and a love for all people, no matter how they treat me. Amen.

Main Scripture:

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others (Philippians 2:3-4).

Associated Scriptures:

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love (Ephesians 4:2).

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).

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight (1 Peter 3:3-4).

Correlative Quotes:

First, never pretend. Be yourself. True humility claims nothing more or less than the truth. What you see is what you get.  Second, never presume.  The humble man realizes he looks on the outward, but God alone sees the heart. He refrains from snap judgments, hasty conclusions, and negative assumptions.[1] – Dallas Willard

People who honor humility don’t think less of themselves, they just think of themselves less. [2]– Frank Damazio

  1. Godly Character Includes Humility. You have probably heard it said that as soon as you think that you’ve attained humility, you’ve lost it. But that’s not true.[3]– Steven J. Cole



I have joked, a few times in my life, to close friends: “The thing I’m most proud of is my humility.”  However, every time I say it, even though I am not serious, I get a guilty feeling in the pit of my stomach, and it’s not the tacos and hot sauce that did it.  Humility is not something that should be the brunt of a joke.  The words “humble” and “humility” are used more than fifty times in the Bible.  They should not be taken lightly.  Proverbs 3:34 teaches: “He mocks those who mock but gives grace to the humble.”  James 4:16 (NKJV) explains: “But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.”

The book of James explains that spiritual joy, cooperation, and peace with God can only be found where there is a spirit of humility.  James 4:6 points out: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”  Proverbs 11:2 says, “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.”  Humility is very important to God and to the believer.


James 4 identifies the actions found in humble Christians.  These seven actions are essential for us to develop in our lives if we are going to be humble Christians.

  1. Ask God (James 4:1-3):

Humble believers do not covet what others have, but instead, they ask God to supply their needs.  In society today, the world’s wants and needs have become synonyms.  Many people, including believers, feel that the things they want are absolute necessities.  This was the sin of Adam and Eve.  It has a long history.

  1. Submit to the Will of God (James 4:7):

Submitting to the Holy Spirit means that we give Him control over our lives (1 Peter 3:15).   Submission for the believer means to let go of fleshly desires and allow God to equip and sustain us.  The Holy Spirit is there to help us. He knows what to pray and gives us guidance in the simple as well as the complicated decisions of life.

  1. Practice Obedience (James 4:8):

Practicing obedience is a commandment, not a suggestion.  We must be obedient and walk in the light that we have been given.  1 John 1:7 teaches us to walk in the light.  Walking in the light provides fellowship with God and with others, and it continually cleanses us from our sins.  Living in the light of God’s word keeps us humble.

  1. Humble Yourself Before God (James 4:9-10):

Christians must recognize that He is God and we are not.  At salvation, we begin the process of becoming humble children.  There can only be one boss in our lives.  That boss happens to be the One who created and owns all things (Genesis 1).  He is more than we could ever hope for in a leader (Ephesians 3:20).

  1. Do not Judge Others (James 4:11-12):

There is only one Judge, and He rules and reigns over the heavens and the earth.  He is the judge of all things righteous and unrighteous.  Belshazzar relates in Daniel 5:27: “we have been judged and found lacking.”

  1. Yield to the Lord’s Will (James 4:13-16):

God’s will or plan for our lives is simple but not easy.  Why do we make long-term plans when we do not know what the future holds (Matthew 6:34)?  We are to live for the day.  No one knows whether they will even be alive tomorrow.  We need to live and minister to others as if this were our last day on earth.

  1. Look to the Needs of Others (James: 4:17):

Humility is looking at others’ needs as more important than our own.  When we see all the poverty, heartache, and suffering in this world, we must act in ways that ease one another’s pain.  Giving assistance to the less fortunate glorifies God in the eyes of others.  James 1:27 tells us that: “Pure religion in God’s eyes is to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to be unstained by the world.”

Summary Statement:

Genuine humility comes from a loving heart.  When we turn our lives over to the control of the Spirit, we begin the process of experiencing what God wants from us, and not what we want for ourselves.  Self-aggrandizement is a product of meeting worldly desires.  The desire to serve others, without crediting ourselves, is Spirit-led.  Good works are the test and proof of our salvation (1 Corinthians 3:13).  Our works will be tested by fire at the Judgement Seat of Christ.

Lessons within the Lesson:

How have you demonstrated humility in your daily life?

How can we use spiritual gifts to show humility?

What makes people express egotism?

How can those who are humble escape being bullied?

[1] Dallas Willard, Keep Believing Ministries, Dallas Willard on Humility, Fair Use Authorization, Section 107, of the Copyright Law, keepbelieving.com/articles/dallas-willard-on-humility/.

[2] Frank Damazio, Characteristics of Humble People, Fair Use Authorization, Section 107, of the Copyright Law,  //blog.frankdamazio.com/2012/12/characteristics-of-humble-people/#sthash.FaFdKd4o.dpuf.

[3] Steven J. Cole, Lesson #51: Godly Leadership Acts 20:17-21, Fair Use Authorization, Section 107, of the Copyright Law, bible.org/seriespage/.