Humility is the chief aim in the Christian life. You can’t love well or obey God without it. Humility is the ability to see yourself where you really are, “wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked” (Revelation 3:17). It lays the foundation for real contentment, confidence, and accurate self-knowledge. Pride, in contrast, causes spiritual blindness.
5 Upsides of Humility
ONE: Leads to Sincere Sorrow
Humility leads to being sincere in sorrow for sin, which deepens into a trembling at God’s word, motivating and enabling us to hear God clearly.
This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at My word. Isaiah 66:2
It pictures us working out our salvation with fear and trembling. Philippians 2:12 says,
Thererefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
TWO: Enhances Love for God’s Word
Humility enhances our love for God’s word, making us eager to obey, seeking encouragement from God, and creating a joyful trembling before God. Pride creates the opposite posture, where we become self-righteous, despising God’s word.
THREE: Deepens Communion with God
Since humility ends in trembling at God’s word, it brings us into deeper communion with God. We hear His voice more clearly and are open to His instruction. We grow in gratitude and richer dependence upon God. Proud people do not need God, or have ears to hear His commands. They are unaware of their personal sinfulness and their need for grace.
FOUR: Shows Our Need
Humility is so important to God that He will allow us to fail our way into greater self-knowledge. Have you ever asked God to deliver you from some sin and then saw no response to your request?
God will often let us wallow in our problems to deepen our humility. Our need for humility might be greater than our need for deliverance (2 Corinthians 12:7-9).
FIVE: Draws Us Closer to God
As I have felt increasingly inadequate and sinful, I have drawn closer to God. It is as John Berridge, the 18th century preacher, said,
As the heart is more washed, we grow more sensible of its remaining defilement; just as we are more displeased with a single spot on a new coat, than a hundred stains on an old one.
Isn’t your growing awareness of your sinfulness is a sign of increasing humility and intimacy with God?
No one loves God until they have been humbled. God is only intimate with the believer who has been thoroughly and joyfully humbled to see themselves in God’s Light. Although God loves the arrogant, He is not going to be intimate with them until they are humbled.
How to Grow in Humility
How can you grow in humility? Admit that you are proud before you fully see it. Take it as a given for a person with a fallen human nature.
Humble yourself before the Lord and He will lift you up (James 4:10).
Seek the knowledge of God through His Word because it produces humility. It is only in His light that we accurately see ourselves (Psalm 36:9).
Pray for spiritual illumination. You cannot see God or yourself clearly without His aid. Take encouragement: if you seek Him, He will be found by you (2 Chron. 15:2). Immerse yourself in God’s Word; His words provide the spiritual mirror in which we can see ourselves clearly (James 1:23).