Proverbs 22:4 promises that, “Humility and the fear of the Lord bring wealth and honor and life.” Maintaining a lifestyle of biblical humility brings glory to God, as well as “wealth and honor” to you. James 4:10 says, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”
Biblical humility is simply recognizing your dependence on God. Andrew Murray in his classic book, Humility, says, “Humility is the highest virtue of a human being. In fact, it is the root of every virtue.”
If you are humble, you are in very good company.
Numbers 12:3 proclaims, “Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.” Moses was a man of historic achievement. The books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy record the amazing things God did through him. Moses was a “very humble” man yet a great man—his life demonstrates that great humility goes hand-in-hand with great accomplishment.
Some in the world turn the definition of humility upside down, and make it synonymous with weakness, inferiority, and even self-abasement. Don’t believe them. They do not understand humility, but we will love them just the same.
Humility exalts God, while pride, the opposite of humility, exalts self.
Consider Luke 14 which records Jesus’ parable concerning the humble. The setting of the parable is a Sabbath dinner at the home of a prominent Pharisee. The Pharisee and his guests were the movers and shakers of the community. They were affluent, well-educated, and influential—the social and religious elites of their time.
Jesus seized the opportunity and his message to them is recorded in Luke 14:7-10:
When he [Jesus] noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this man your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all your fellow guests.”
This parable has many applications, but when applied to the workplace the issue is self-exaltation versus humility. The elites in the story scrambled for the “place of honor” but they were moved to a lower place by the “host.” The “host” in this parable represents God. It is God who will move you, the humble person, “to a better place” where you “will be honored in the presence of all your fellow guests.”
Luke 14:11 expresses Jesus’ key point: “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Cultivate a lifestyle of humility and make it a part of your witness to others. Use your talents and pursue success while avoiding the worldly practice of self-exaltation.