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Noun- the quality or condition of being humble; modest opinion or estimate of one's own importance, rank, etc.

As in all things, when I look for the standard to which I need to measure, I look to God's Word. 

If humility is a modest opinion of yourself and your rank or importance, then that makes it pretty clear that we aren’t to think that we are better than others.
At the risk of sounding too much like a teacher, (I am a homeschool Mom so it happens.) I’d like to check into the definition of ‘modest’.

Adjective- having or showing a moderate or humble estimate of one’s merits, importance, etc.; free from vanity, egotism, boastfulness, or great pretensions.; free from showy extravagance in regard for the decencies of behavior, speech, dress, etc.

As you can see, the words humility and modest have similar meanings.  But how does that apply to our lives?  How can we have humility?  How do we teach humility to our children?

I have posted several scriptures on humility at the end of this post, it is by no means exhaustive as there were too many scriptures to list them all.  In those scriptures, you will see that humility comes with benefits and pleases God.­­ And on the flipside, a lack thereof has some serious consequences.  I believe that these are not just experienced in eternity but also in our lives here on earth.

As with all instruction from the Lord, it is for our benefit. (Romans 15:4) and this instruction for humility is no exception.  

I believe that there are many people who no longer wish to attend church and have a negative view of Christians due in large part to the issue of false humility.  We often hear the word ‘hypocrite used by both non-believers and believers when referring to Christians.   

Why would you think someone was a hypocrite?  Likely it would be because they have a lack of humility and are often also judgmental.  These 2 ingredients, arrogance and judgment, can be toxic and I believe we underestimate both the immediate effect as well as the long term havoc that this wreaks on the lives around us.

Humility is an attribute that will show itself in us more and more as we grow in our faith and allow Christ to mold us into His image.  Pride is an issue that is a constant struggle and is at war with humility all the time.  Although we are not going to magically wake up one day without pride and look in the mirror at a fully humble version of ourselves, we need to work on learning how to increase this attribute in our lives.

·      ­We must have a correct view of ourselves compared to God – It is foolish to walk around acting like we know more than God or that we are not under His authority.  We are made in His image, but since the fall and the introduction of sin in the garden with Adam and Eve, we have needed Christ to redeem us from the sinful pride that is now in us.  Without Christ, we can do nothing. (John 15:5)
o  Don’t mistake your ways as being as wise as God’s.  Even Solomon who was given supernatural wisdom because of his humility, eventually did not continue to obey God (he was building temples to other gods) and his pride overtook him and brought him to a place of sin and arrogance.

·      We need to acknowledge our sinful natureWithout understanding this, you won’t see your need for Christ, which then leads to your need and the benefits of humilityRomans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Matthew 15:19 “for out of the heart come evil thoughts – murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.”
o  Recognize that no matter how long you have been a Christian, no matter how much you have improved in this area, there is still always room for improvement.  In this life on earth, you will not hit perfection, so we must always keep in mind that we need to actively practice humility and guard against pride, even if you’re a Pastor or a Professor teaching a College course on humility! (I would dare to say that if you hold either of those last titles, you are even more at risk.)

·      Learn to identify when you are being arrogant or prideful – Arrogance happens when we see ourselves as better than others.  It can show itself in our actions if we patronize those who we consider inferior.  If we are contemptuous and hateful, overbearing with our ideas or opinions, or being condescending.  I believe that our flesh makes these things so easy and they can happen automatically without thought until we learn how to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5)
o  Take inventory of your words and your thoughts (some of us are a little more sly with our arrogance as it remains mostly in our thought life, BUT it is no less terrible!) you will likely find that these characteristics come up in your life more than you would like to admit or even realize.  Being aware of when you are doing these things is the first step in stopping.  If you become more conscious of your actions in this area, you can correct yourself.
o  If you have children, begin to watch their behavior, words, and actions towards others to identify these same things.  You can then begin to point them out and teach them how to become more humble.  If they are old enough, they can also begin to pay attention to their own words and actions to identify and correct their own wrong thinking.  And as always, our children learn what they see and hear most…if we as parents are modeling humility, our children are more likely to do the same.

·      Don’t be easily defensive ­or corrective – A friend once asked me, “Jessica, what would happen if you just let my error go without correcting it?”  I was over corrective, I did it constantly (and I still struggle with it).  I did it so often I didn’t even realize it.  We need to again take careful watch over this area.  There are times where we can rightfully defend our integrity if it is an issue which will negatively affect our testimony as a Christian.  However, I am willing to guess that most of the time this is not the reason we get defensive.  Sometimes we just have a need to be ‘right’, but perhaps we need to let that go when it is not an area of true importance. 
o  We need to remember that our relationships are more important that being ‘right’.  If we are quick to correct or defend, we will likely push that person away and it ruins our relationship as well as our witness, both of which are a terrible shame and not worth it.

·      Focus on God – This may seem overly simple, but the more we read The Word, stay in prayer, and keep our relationship strong with God, the easier it is to stay focused on Him instead of thinking of ourselves all the time.  Thinking of our needs, our wants, our desires, our disappointments, etc. comes naturally….again, it’s a flesh thing.  No one needs to teach us how to do that.  If we are keeping our eyes on Jesus, what He thinks of us, what He wants us to do with our lives (or even our day), we are going to be more God centered and our thinking and actions are more likely to be closer to where they need to be.  It is so easy to be self absorbed, which can quickly lead us right into being arrogant and prideful.

·      Practice Humility! – You’ve heard the old saying “Practice makes perfect.”  I’ve adjusted that saying for my family since perfection is an unrealistic goal, and we like to say, “Practice makes progress.”  Next time someone pronounces a word wrong…let it go, if you have a disagreement with a co-worker or your Spouse…let it go, when someone gets your order wrong…don’t get angry at them…let it go.
o  When we do these things, we will also be able to find joy much more easily.  We will likely have lower blood pressure and a happier countenance.  There are rewards for obedience, remember that instruction from God is for our benefit…this is an example of just that.

My prayer is that God would help us to understand and practice humility in our lives, that it would strengthen our relationships and our Christian witness.  I am thankful to the Lord for giving us great promises for our obedience as He knows how hard it is for us to walk in humility.  I pray that we would each remember that in our own strength, none of this is possible, but with Christ, all things are possible!  Amen.


2 Chronicles 7:14 "and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land" 

Philippians 2:3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves”

Romans 12:3 "For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith."

James 4:6  “But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

Colossians 3:12 “Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience”

Jeremiah 9:23 “Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches”

2 Corinthians 12:5-12 “On behalf of this man I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses. Though if I should wish to boast, I would not be a fool, for I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me. So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me....”

Proverbs 11:2 “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.”

2 Corinthians 3:5 “Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God” 

Proverbs 18:12 “Before destruction a man's heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor.”

1 Corinthians 10:12 “Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.”

Luke 22:24-27 A dispute also arose among them, as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest. And he said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. For who is the greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am among you as the one who serves.”


Romans 2:1-4 “Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?”



  1. Nice post, Jessica!

    As you know from visiting my blog, we share these sentiments.

    Just for your interest, we also homeschooled three of our four children all the way through high school. The fourth was in high school when we started, and I was too terrified to pull him out. Wish now that I had!!

    Anyhow, great to read your post. I like your blog, the layout. Very soothing.


  2. Cheri,

    Thank you so much. I am always encouraged to hear about other homeschooling families! Especially ones who've made it through high school. ;-)

    Thanks also for reading this particular post...for some reason this one isn't getting read much. Sometimes these are subjects we don't want to think about or talk about I guess.

    May God bless you abundantly today!



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