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Pointers along the way #2

What is it to humble ourselves?
- Jacob Ninan

The Bible tells us that God gives grace to the humble (Jas.4:6;1Pe.5:5). We are to humble ourselves in the presence of the Lord and under His mighty hand (Jas.4:10;1Pe.5:6). What does it mean to humble ourselves?

We see from the above verses that humbling of ourselves is basically in relation to God. It is not putting up a humble front in front of people. We can say that humility involves a sober estimate of ourselves before God. We must know who we are in relation to a perfect, loving, kind, merciful, compassionate, holy, almighty, all-knowing, all-wise God who has created us. We also must know how dependent we are on Him and on other people.

Humbling of ourselves involves, therefore, taking our small place before God. Pride, which is the opposite of humility, is to think of ourselves as being more or greater than what we really are. When we are humble, even when we see that we are better than some others in some things, we know that it is God who made us that way (1Co.4:7), and also that there are other things where others are better than us.

Humility makes us recognise our sins, sinfulness, human limitations, ignorance, weakness and helplessness without God. It means acknowledging when we have done wrong, both to God and to our fellow human beings. It means being careful not to go beyond what God has assigned to us or to intrude into other people's lives (2Co.10:13). It means obeying God in everything He tells us (Php.2:8). It means being thankful for all that God has given to us, compared to what we really deserve for our sins (He.12:28). It means giving ourselves to God to serve Him and to glorify Him (Ro.12:1).