“Humility is the fear of the Lord; its wages are riches and honor and life.”
We’ve all been trained to believe in a cultured definition of the word “humble.” According to this definition, humility is the attitude of rejecting all praise and cowering at the thought of glory, putting the self down. But is this true by the Bible? What answer would the Bible give for the meaning of humility?
It’s actually fairly simple. Humility is: knowing the Lord for who He truly is, coupled with the actions that flow from dwelling on the truths of His character and of sinful man.
For example, it humbles me to read and think about the fact that I am a sinner, desperately in need of a Holy God. It humbles me to read that once this God has given me a new heart, I am freed from all condemnation, by both Divine and human authorities (Romans 8:1). It humbles me to know that no matter what, my God will never leave me or forsake me (Deuteronomy 31:6).
Not only does it humble me though, but it prospers me to know these things. The latter half of the scripture passage for this post reads, “…it’s wages are riches and honor and life.” Meaning, not only do humble people personally know God and His true character, but because they do, the natural acts that follow from that relationship produce, in time, (you guessed it) riches, honor, and life. Our world is broken, and the prideful attitude is becoming more and more popular. Therefore, societies outside appearance may be getting prettier, but their inside soul is turning to slop. That is why those with true humility stand out so much because they have legitimately attained life, whereas everyone else is clawing for it. We who hold fast to the Lord have flourishing hearts. Those who reject the Lord have dead hearts. Thus, Jesus was incredibly accurate when he stated, “You are the light of the world.” The light indeed blossoms, but is kept shining by our pondering on the glorious identity that has been given to us.
To know deep inside that your identity is one of a servant, who doesn’t deserve any pleasure of life, but who is so loved, kept, and cherished by the Creator of the Cosmos, it creates a perspective where you aren’t the center of the universe anymore. Ultimately, by this view, you are just another beggar in the presence of the king (and oh so happily so!). We are outshined by His greatness when we behold it, creating a joy within us unimaginable. This allows for a freed mind (John 8:32) that isn’t obsessed with anything this world has to offer. It releases your spirit. No longer are you dominated by thoughts of being number one, or how many followers you have, or how attractive you are. These things (and countless others) will never satisfy you, and will consistently leave you empty. An identity that is built upon status, material wealth, intellect, strength etc. will crumble, and it will fall.
There is a God, whose name is Jesus Christ, who wants to prosper your spirit in every way, and when you truly know Him, you know your place; and you don’t want it any different.
Grace and peace to you in Jesus Christ, the Lord.