What is Humility?
Do you believe that you gain humility in suffering? Do you think that’s God’s way of teaching you how to be humble?
The word ‘Humility’ is derived from the word ‘humble‘ which means ‘having or showing a modest or low estimate of one’s importance.’ The opposite of humility is conceit which means, ‘having excessive pride in oneself.’
Most people relate humility to innocence. Innocence is simply the lack of guile or corruption. Most people think that those who talk less and have piteous faces are humble. From the definition above, humility is not just about showing but also having a modest estimate of low importance.
Most people think that poor people are humble and relate humility to having nothing. That’s why you will hear statements like.
‘Kindly employ my niece, she is very humble, she is an orphan who comes from a very poor background.’
‘He is very humble, he welcomed me to his home despite him having nothing.’
If I may ask, does poor background equate to humility? And why don’t we feel as appreciated when rich people go out of their way and give us stuff as compared to poor people.
Is Humility Relative?
Humility can be relative based on where one derives their definition from. Worldly definition of humility is very different from what God defines humility. Phillipians 2 talks well about humility.
3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2 not only defines what humility is, it also shows how Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords lived. He valued others (me and you who were just lowly beings) and never looked to His own interests.
Which head of state can work with fishermen? Which president can forsake all their fun and even die for his people? Which leader can live a lowly life and take a bullet for his servants? Few? None?
Now, Jesus was higher than the richest, He was greater than the elite. He was their Creator but He was so humble that He died for their sins.
As Satan fell like lightning from Heaven, he was stripped off everything and he could no longer inherit anything that God had created. God created man and we see in the garden of Eden, Adam (man) was given dominion over everything.
Since the devil could no longer get anything from God, he deceived man and man gave what he had rightfully inherited from his Creator to him. Now, God himself had to come down, humble Himself and die for the sinful man so that He could return (in full) what was taken from man.
Will the same God, who came to teach, prophesy, heal and raise the dead want you to teach you humility in suffering? Will the same God, who suffered for you, was spat at, was speared, mocked and killed on the cross want to teach you humility through what He underwent?
Suffering is Not Your Portion
You were not created to suffer. Religion will teach you that you need to suffer so that you can be successful. It will tell you that you need to suffer to harden up. It will put you in this realm of hardship and make it your way of life.
How many people in a day tell you things like:
‘Ni kupambana tu’ (I am still struggling)
‘Ni kuhustle’ (I am hustling) – Actually even politicians in our country these days use this slogan.
‘Life is not easy.’
Suffering in the world has become so common that all phrases have to sync with suffering. It is imprinted in their souls and is discussed in their daily conversations. People are always transitioning from one problem to another and they believe that it is God’s plan for them to suffer so that they may grow stronger.
It is sad that most people think that the world is a place of suffering. They think that good life starts in Heaven and they are now in a painful test to prove themselves to God who will have mercy on them and heal them of their diseases and empty pockets.
They forget that the Bible says that everything God created was perfect. – There is totally nothing wrong with the world.
Poverty has been even preached by so called Christians who claim that money is evil, riches are not good because you will not trust in God and it is totally okay to them if heathens own the riches of the world. They forget the riches are meant for the remnants and not the heathens.
I constantly say that the devil works more in Church. The devil has come up with theories that it is not good for you to own what God gave you dominion for lest you become like one of his. This is why he was so envious and bitter of Job.
If God gave you dominion over everything, including riches, why should it be evil for you to own it? Why should He make you undergo pain and suffering so that He can teach you how to use it? Does He just want to prove a point?
No More Sacrifice is Needed
Do we need to really work hard in our flesh to please God so that He may bless us?
Hebrews 10 talks about Jesus being the ultimate sacrifice. I will really advise that you read it deeply and meditate on those words. Verse 11 says:
Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.
This means that day after day you think that doing good, going to church and reading the Bible vehemently will make your life easier. This verse affirms that your religious duties of constant giving, attending Bible Studies and crying while singing will not heal your diseases nor multiply your investments.
Trust me for the longest time I thought so. I am in no way denoting that it is bad to give, attend Bible Studies nor crying while singing.
The devil also has his religious duties. How are you different from him?
Hebrews 10:15-18 says:
The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:
16 “This is the covenant I will make with them
after that time, says the Lord.
I will put my laws in their hearts,
and I will write them on their minds.”
17 Then he adds:
“Their sins and lawless acts
I will remember no more.”
18 And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.
The covenant is no longer in how much you give, how perfect and abiding you walk nor how many commandments you keep. The covenant is now written in your heart and minds. It is not for you to prove yourself but making yourself ready for God to prove to the world that you can be used of Him. Whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
We forget that even if we do not know the way, we can humble ourselves to God and He will guide us. We forget that even if we have a difficulty interpreting the Bible and constantly interpret it to suit our needs we can humble ourselves and God will give us the revelation.
And the part I really love about this chapter is where God says that:
“Their sins and lawless acts
I will remember no more.”
And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.
God does not keep a record of wrongs. Most of us actually keep a record of wrongs for ourselves and we lay prostrate to God wailing constantly reminding Him of all the sins that we have done. We become our own accusers while God said, ‘Your sins are forgiven even when we just prayed for healing.’
The devil will want to prove to you that you are not an overcomer but a sinful and an unworthy person. The devil is so petty to the point of accusing you of how many ants you have stepped and killed while walking.
So does the Lord need to teach you humility in suffering? 2 Corinthians 3:18 says,
“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” Some translations say, “being transformed from glory to glory.”
If you think that God needs you to undergo suffering to gain humility it means that you are not being transformed into His likeness. It means that you are not moving from one glory to another.
You need to humble yourself before the Lord to be exalted, not before the devil who deceives you with all the worldly knowledge. It is time to eat from the tree of life.