I’m thinking of starting a new business called the Blue Moon Humility Service. I’m going to teach people how to be humble. I haven’t decided if my teaching method will coaching, mentoring, or just swift kicks in seat of the pants.
To begin, I’ll need a colorful van with Blue Moon Humility Service emblazoned on the side, several thousand business cards and maybe a secretary or two. And television commercials. Gotta have commercials.
Why Blue Moon? I just like the name.
Why humility? Scarcity. There’s a need. If I asked a room of one hundred people, “Who wants to be more humble?” do you think many would raise their hand? Most of us are like my pastor friend who declared, “I’m proud to be so humble.”
“Not to brag, but I’m humble enough,” we think (or at least, we’re as humble as we want to be).
But, when God’s promises to the humble rumble through my soul, my hand shoots up. I will confess that I may have a little way to go before my humble meter reads 100%.
What Is Humility, Really?
One problem is we don’t know what humility is. Even some dictionaries stumble in their definitions. The Oxford Languages Dictionary says humility is “a modest or low view of one’s own importance; humbleness.”
Can I partially disagree with that? I think Merriam-Webster gets closer.
“Freedom from pride or arrogance …”
Truth be told, we often think synonyms for humble are “wimpy, doormat, weak, and poor.” I don’t know about you, but I don’t particularly want to be any of those.
Let me humbly tell you what I think humility is. It’s having a correct opinion of God, of yourself, and those around you. We don’t say that we can’t when we know we can. It’s knowing that if God said to do it, we can, if we will. Without Him, we can do nothing.
It’s not an underestimation of one’s self. It’s a correct estimation.
Sometimes our feigned “humility” is just a mask for laziness (I don’t want to do it!), fear (I’m afraid to do it), or some other unsavory state of mind.
“We will also need to understand what Jesus meant when he called men and women to humble themselves. We discover that the Greek word Jesus and the apostles used, tapeinos, conveys the idea of having a right view of ourselves before God and others. If pride is an exalted sense of who we are in relation to God and others, humility is having a realistic sense of who we are before God and others. We must not think too highly (or too lowly) of ourselves. Rather, we must be honest and realistic about who and what we are.” Thomas A. Tarrants (https://www.cslewisinstitute.org/resources/pride-and-humility)
If this isn’t true, how in the world could Paul have proclaimed, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” C’mon Paul. All things? Yep. He knew who he was, and He knew who God was and what God had called him to do.
Numbers 12:2 says, “(Now the man Moses was very humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth.)” (NKJV) Many believe that Moses wrote the book of Numbers, so did he proclaim himself the most humble man on earth? He acknowledged the truth.
Paul claimed humility (Acts 20:19).
So, I feel safe in proclaiming my humility. I feel I’m about 65% humble. There is still a bit of work to do.
Is God humble?
And God! He’s the gold standard for humility. Jesus said it out loud, “…I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matt. 11:29b NLT) Jesus humbled himself, emptied himself. (Phil. 2:8) Jesus knew who He was, yet he was humble.
What Do I Get If I’m Humble?
We’ve stumbled on a treasure trove here. Something that many people don’t value turns out to be more valuable than Rhodium (worth $15,250/troy ounce as of July 2022)
—“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” (James 4:10).He will do you good after the humbling process in your life. “… that he might humble you and test you, to do you good in the end.” (Deut. 8:16, Matthew 23:12).
We fling rocks at the fellow who sits on the rooftop and chirps his greatness. God honors those who stay in His will, small or great.
Exalted by God? That sounds good. But won’t I get proud? Nope, because when you’ve humbled yourself, you create a state of heart where God can bless you and you won’t puff up and blow up.
—God saves a humble people. (2 Samuel 22:28)
—Humbling oneself can mitigate punishment, even for a wicked person. (1 Kings 21:29. Also 2 Chronicles 12:12)
—Humbling ourselves opens heaven’s floodgates of forgiveness and healing. “If 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 and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)
—He leads the humble in what is right and teaches the humble His way. (Proverbs 11:2, Psalm 25:9)
—God favors the humble. (Proverbs 3:34)
—God keeps His eye on the humble. (Isa. 66:2 )
—The humble girl receives God’s grace. “But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’” (James 4:6)
—Honor follows humility. (Prov. 15:33, Prov. 18:12, Prov. 22:4)