Reposting from a blog. Something worth sharing, I think.
Humility is one of those “I can’t define it, but I know it when I see it” kind of things…..and it’s often wielded as a club in the hands of people who refuse to endure sound doctrine, who are quick to accuse others, who stand firmly on God’s written Word, of being Pharisees. So this morning, I’ve done a word study of the Greek word #5013tapeinoo, which is found in the New Testament verses listed below. Per Spiros Zodhiates, Th.D. The Complete Word Study New Testament, it means to depress; fig. To humiliate (in condition or heart):--abase, bring low, humble (self). It is from the base word #5011, tapeinos, tap-i-nos’; of uncert. Der.; depressed, i.e. (fig) humiliated (in circumstances or disposition):--base, cast down, humble, of low degree (estate), lowly.
Several things stand out to me as I read these verses:
(1) Humility is a vertical relational concept, with the humble viewing the other as being higher than himself, and not demanding his "rights".
(2) Our proper attitude of such relationship is first and foremost, to recognize that God is higher than ourselves. The key proof of walking humbly with God is obedience to His commandments, as was modeled by Jesus Himself when He became obedient unto death on the cross.
(3) Humility is also to be shown in our relationships with our brethren (“with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love,” Ephesians 4:2.), and obedience to the servant leaders in the church, who must themselves know how to humble themselves so as to not lord it over the flock.
(4) We are instructed to humble ourselves, of our own volition. This is not a “holy suggestion", but a requirement for entering the kingdom of heaven.
(5) Our attitude is to be that of little children, who trust their parents and intuitively recognize the power differentiation between themselves and adults. The hymn “Trust and Obey” pretty much sums it up.
(6) If we will humble ourselves, God will lift us up. Voluntary humility is proof that we believe Him, and are yielding to His indwelling Spirit, to do the good works that distinguish Christians as lights on a hill in this dark world.
(7) Believing God's Word and proclaiming it in lieu of one's "honest opinion" is a humble exercise, if the Word is rightly divided and the goal is to seek the other's best interests, rejoicing in the truth. Because this is the way a child demonstrates trust in what his parent has said.
“Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.” (James 4:10 NASB)
“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Luke 14:11 NASB)
“And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.” (Matthew 18:2-5 KJV)
“The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. ‘I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’ I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Luke 18:11-14 NASB)
“Have I committed an offense in abasing myself that ye might be exalted, because I have preached to you the gospel of God freely?” (2 Corinthians 11:7 KJV)
“And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed.” (2 Corinthians 12:21 KJV)
“And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (Philippians 2:8 KJV)
“I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.” (Philippians 4:12 KJV)
“Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:1-7 NASB)
“Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth;” (Luke 3:5 KJV)