Eph 4:1-3 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, “with all HUMILITY and GENTLENESS, with PATIENCE, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (ESV)
Humility, what is it? The Greek word used in this text is:
According to: Strongs Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries this word is:
From a compound of G5011 and the base of G5424; humiliation of mind, that is, modesty: – humbleness of mind, humility (of mind), lowliness (of mind).
G5011 is tapeinos (tap-i-nos’) which means: depressed, that is, (figuratively) humiliated (in circumstances or disposition): – base, cast down, humble, of low degree (estate), lowly.
G5425 isphrēn (frane) which means: (to rein in or curb; compare G5420); the midrif (as a partition of the body), that is, (figuratively and by implication of sympathy) the feelings (or sensitive nature; by extension [also in the plural] the mind or cognitive faculties): – understanding.
The same Greek word also appears in the following New Testament passages:
Now from Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called the elders of the church to come to him. And when they came to him, he said to them: “You yourselves know how I lived among you the whole time from the first day that I set foot in Asia, serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials that happened to me through the plots of the Jews; how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you in public and from house to house, testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. (Act 20:17-21 ESV)
Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. (Php 2:3 ESV)
Let no one condemn you, delighting in humility and worship of the angels, pushing into things which he has not seen, being puffed up by the mind of his flesh without cause, (Col 2:18 LITV)
Which things indeed appear to be a matter of having wisdom in self-imposed worship and humility, and severity in abuse of the body, but are not of any value with regards to gratification of the flesh. (Col 2:23 LITV)
Put on therefore, as God’s elect, holy and beloved, a heart of compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving each other, if any man have a complaint against any; even as the Lord forgave you, so also do ye: and above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfectness. (Col 3:12-14 ASV)
Likewise, younger [people], be subjected [or, submitted] to [the] elders. And all [continue] being subjected to one another. Clothe yourselves with humility, for, “God resists [or, sets Himself in opposition against] proud [people], but He give grace to humble [people].” [Prov 3:34] (1Pe 5:5 ALT)
I found this information at: http://www.brandonweb.com/gbt/sermonpages/luke28.htm There is more good information on this site such as more definitions, people who have been examples of humility, and what it takes to develop humility.
“Before Christ came into the world, the worst thing that could be said about a man was that he was humble. That was considered to be a quality of a slave, not a free man. Christ came teaching a new concept. The way up is down. To be exalted, men must humble themselves. He illustrated this principle throughout His life and ministry. One of the characteristics of this world today is selfishness and so few are truly humble. Today men can talk for hours about themselves and they are always the hero of their own stories. They never tell the tales about the times when they failed. A ball player talks about his home runs and tremendous catches that he made, but you don’t hear about the strike-outs, errors, and fumbles. This attitude is also found within the local church and its members.”
CHRISTIAN HUMILITY (January 1, 1984)
So often in our Christian life we misinterpret humility. I have had a growing appreciation of objective evaluation since doing about forty television shows with professional athletes who have a quiet evaluation of their own superiority. Listen on Sunday afternoon to the golfer who wins the tournament-he neither berates himself nor runs around slapping himself on the back. He simply admits he was hitting his putts firmly, getting his irons up to the pin, and keeping his drive in play. The church needs to develop this type of objective humility.
The best definition of humility I’ve ever heard is this: “Humility is not denying the power you have but admitting that the power comes through you and not from you.” If you deny the power you’ve been given, you lie. If you have a fine voice, to depreciate it is to show a lack of appreciation for it. If you’ve been given a talent for making money (and I believe it is a talent), then use it and be the trustee of it. If your talent is administration, then help things to happen. I don’t believe that God is giving any talent for irresponsibility, and that is what we are showing when we fail to recognize, appreciate, and use the talent that we have been given.
Ethel Waters said to a nervous friend of ours on the platform, “Don’t worry, honey. God don’t make no flops.” This is the spirit of assurance the church needs to recapture.
On http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humility there are a number of interesting things in regard to Humility:
Humility comprises the following behaviors and attitudes:
- submission to God and legitimate authority;
- recognition of the virtues and talents that others possess, particularly those which surpass one’s own, and giving due honor and, when required, obeisance;
- recognition of the limits of one’s talents, ability, or authority; and, not reaching for that which is beyond one’s grasp.
On The Christian Bible Reference Site at http://www.twopaths.com/humility.htm, I found a lot of information, including the following excerpts:
Humility or humbleness is a quality of being courteously respectful of others. It is the opposite of aggressiveness, arrogance, boastfulness, and vanity. Rather than, “Me first,” humility allows us to say, “No, you first, my friend.” Humility is the quality that lets us go more than halfway to meet the needs and demands of others.
Humility dissipates anger and heals old wounds. Humility allows us to see the dignity and worth of all God’s people. Humility distinguishes the wise leader from the arrogant power-seeker.
The Golden Rule, spoken by Jesus, is possibly the best known quote from the Bible, and contains a lot of wisdom in one short sentence. If we wish to be loved, we must first give love. If we wish to be respected, we must respect all persons, even those we despise. If we wish to be fulfilled in our lives, we must share generously with others.
Here are a whole lot of quotes in relation to humility, maybe one will strike a cord with you. http://thinkexist.com/quotations/humility/ Some that struck me:
I found this one humorous and a great picture to remember when thinking about humility:
“Humility is like underwear, essential, but indecent if it shows” – Helen Nielsen
This is one to take to heart:
Humility is the foundation of all the other virtues hence, in the soul in which this virtue does not exist there cannot be any other virtue except in mere appearance. – Saint Augustine
Ok, now a little on the opposite of humility, I think most people would automatically say pride, but apparently there are those that choose other words. Let’s take a look into the opposite of humility:
On The Dash Household website at http://www.dashhouse.com/darryl/2005/11/the_opposite_of_2.htm find someone discussing the fact that some say the opposite of humility isn’t pride, but conviction. I, personally, had never heard this, but here it is just the same.
Here’s a blog at http://lchan.blogspot.com/2006/02/humility-and-inadequacy.html which says that inadequacy could be the opposite of humility. There are several good quotes and dialog from a book by C. S. Lewis.
This commentary Bible Gateway.com – Commentary at Bible Gateway discusses, James 4 and the opposite of humility as arrogance.
This is a word document Humility and Exaltation Word document or you can view it as html at Humility and Exaltation HTML where it is discussing the opinion that Jesus sees the opposite of humility as exaltation.
Here’s one viewing pride as the opposite at http://thinkonitdevotions.wordpress.com/2008/03/18/opposite-of-humility/ it has a whole lot of scripture in regard to pride.
So, what do you think? Does your tree bear this fruit or do you see the fruit of those seen as the opposite? Maybe you have seasons where you bear this fruit and other’s where you don’t? Maybe you see this fruit but it is just a bit too small and needs to grow more? Just remember: All things are possible through Jesus Christ. If you don’t see this fruit, look to God’s Word and He will help you begin to bear this fruit.
If you like to read and are interested, C. S. Lewis wrote an interesting book of “letters” in the book titled, THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS. You can read some information on it at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Screwtape_Letters You can read the letter’s at The Screwtape Letters Honestly, I haven’t read it all yet. But I did come across this quote which seems appropriate for here. When you read “enemy” here, it is referring to God. It is talking about a recent convert to Christianity:
“I have been writing hitherto on the assumption that the people in the next pew afford no rational ground for disappointment. Of course if they do—if the patient knows that the woman with the absurd hat is a fanatical bridge-player or the man with squeaky boots a miser and an extortioner—then your task is so much the easier. All you then have to do is to keep out of his mind the question “If I, being what I am, can consider that I am in some sense a Christian, why should the different vices of those people in the next pew prove that their religion is mere hypocrisy and convention?” You may ask whether it is possible to keep such an obvious thought from occurring even to a human mind. It is, Wormwood, it is! Handle him properly and it simply won’t come into his head. He has not been anything like long enough with the Enemy to have any real humility yet. What he says, even on his knees, about his own sinfulness is all parrot talk. At bottom, he still believes he has run up a very favourable credit-balance in the Enemy’s ledger by allowing himself to be converted, and thinks that he is showing great humility and condescension in going to church with these “smug”, commonplace neighbours at all. Keep him in that state of mind as long as you can.”