What Does it Mean to Humble Yourself? (2023)

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that he may lift you up in due time” 1 Peter 5:6.

The book of 1 Peter is largely about suffering. The apostle Peter was writing this letter to encourage Christians who were being persecuted for their faith. That’s the context. Click here to read chapter 5 in its entirety.

But I think it also applies to suffering in general. It’s one of the most encouraging books of the Bible to read when you’re hurting.

What Does it Mean to Humble Yourself?

One thing I think it means to “humble yourself under the mighty hand of God” is to accept the “manna” he’s given you to meet your needs. Manna refers to the food the Israelites were given supernaturally by God.

It was supposed to meet their need while they were trekking through the desert on the way to the promise land.

It simply appeared on the ground every morning with the dew. And, it doesn’t sound like it tasted bad. In fact, it is described as tasting like “wafers made with honey”.

(Video) What It Means To Be Humble And Have Humility

And it seems to have sustained their physical bodies for many years while in the wilderness. The problem was it was the same thing day after day. And they got tired of it after a while.

I think one metaphorical meaning of manna is this. It’s to accept the fact that, for now, you have to get your strength and sustenance from the promises of God rather than the physical provision. What do I mean by this? Here’s a personal example.

Years ago, I felt like the Lord was leading me to stop using credit cards to get what I wanted and learn to live within my means. He showed me that to insist on having a lifestyle that He hadn’t given me was not being humble. To be humble means to be content with what you’ve been given at the moment.

What Does it Mean to Humble Yourself? (1)

A Personal Example

Well, this meant I had to cancel my cable service that I was putting on a credit card every month. This was a sacrifice because I loved watching me some murder mysteries with dinner. In fact, I didn’t have any money left over after paying my bills to buy or experience much of anything.

I was putting in long hours at work and never got to have any fun. This wouldn’t have been so bad if I wasn’t a giver. But I was giving more than the requisite 10% of my income away.

During this time of financial leanness, I just had to stand on God’s word. There are so many glorious promises around giving.

One of my favorites is Luke 6:38. “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

(Video) How do we “humble ourselves” before God? | Andrew Farley

This was the “manna” that was sustaining my faith. I knew it was true, but boy did I long for a big hunk of meat! Eventually I turned a corner, and now I can do or buy pretty much buy whatever I want without going into debt. Not that I have an extravagant lifestyle, mind you.

I’m pretty low maintenance. I think the little “miracles” God did to help me get through that time were also manna. Here are a few examples:

“Manna” in the Form of Small Miracles

I was a nursing instructor at a local college at the time. My printer broke down right at the beginning a new quarter. I had to have a printer. For a teacher, I would say a printer is indispensible. But I didn’t have the money to buy a new one and I sure didn’t want to put one on a credit card.

So, I prayed that God would “heal” it and somehow make it work. I called HP support and of course, it was out of warranty, and they wouldn’t even diagnose the problem without a 25.00 payment.

The only free option was to go online and follow the written directions. According to the instructions, the reason it didn’t work was because of a paper jam. But it didn’t have any paper in it. Nevertheless, after I went through all the steps to unjam it, it worked! Not sure why since it didn’t have any paper in it.

Does God Heal Cell Phones?

Then, at church a few days later, I dropped my phone on the concrete floor. After that it kept shutting off and turning back on by itself. And it wouldn’t charge. I brought it to where I bought it and they said that usually means the phone is shot. I would have to buy a new one.

And, I would have no choice but to put it on my credit card. I didn’t want to do that.So again, I prayed that God would heal it.

(Video) A Lesson In Humility - Bishop TD Jakes

Then Seth, one of my adult sons came over. I had the phone sitting on the counter trying to charge it, but it was making an annoying noise every 10 minutes or so. My son got irritated took the battery out and put it back in. For some reason, that did the trick.

After that it quickly charged to full capacity and worked like a charm. These are just a few small examples of the way the Lord provided “manna” for me while waiting for the fulfillment of His promise.

Surviving on Manna is Humbling

So, you long for the real thing, but right now, all you have is this promise to cling to. This is humbling, because while manna, or the promises of God may keep you alive (physically or spiritually), it’s not the substantive satisfying meat and potatoes of the real thing.

It’s humbling because though it may be all we need, it’s less than what we really want.

What Does it Mean to Humble Yourself? (2)

How Do You Humble Yourself?

When we humble ourselves by graciously accepting God’s provision, even though it’s less than what we really want, He’ll lift us up in “due time”.

He’ll do this by giving us the physical provision we really long for. The Israelites in the wilderness showed they were not willing to accept God’s provision. Or anything less than the real thing.

They revealed this when they rejected the manna. “They [the Israelites] spoke against Godand against Moses, and said, ‘Why have you brought us up out of Egyptto die in the wilderness?There is no bread! There is no water!And we detest this miserable food [manna]!’”Numbers 21:5

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God wanted them to humble themselves by accepting His provision for them in the desert. He wanted them to accept it in spite of the fact that it wasn’t what they were used to in Egypt. It wasn’t even the kind of food their bodies were meant to have.

But even though it wasn’t as substantive and satisfying as the real thing, it was His provision for the time being. “He gave you mannato eat in the wilderness, something your ancestors had never known,to humble and testyou so that in the end it might go well with you” Deuteronomy 8:16.

To be humble means to “have an acceptance of all God’s dealings as good and therefore without resisting or disputing”(Vine’s Expository Bible Dictionary of the NT).

If we are humble, we are accepting whatever way God is choosing to meet our needs at the moment. We are humbling ourselves if that way is not what we had in mind.

Why Should I Humble Myself?

But, Jesus tells us in Mathew 5:5 that the humble are blessed because they will inherit the earth. This verse is saying our inheritance will be, not just heaven, but also this on earth. And that’s essentially what our verse today tells us as well.

If we humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, He will lift us up. It’s humbling to have to accept less than what we really want to meet our need. But we have to do it in order to get what we really want in the end.

So, essentially, our choice is to wait patiently for what we really want while accepting His temporary provision. Or, not getting it at all. Now, I’m not saying we always get whatever we want if we wait long enough with a good attitude.

(Video) Be humble -- and other lessons from the philosophy of water | Raymond Tang

All of this is prefaced on the idea that you are walking with God and want His will for your life above all. In this case, I do think He puts desires and dreams in your heart that He wants to fulfill. In His time. To read a similar post, see The Link: Heaven’s Dew and Earth’s Richness.

What Does it Mean to Humble Yourself? (3)CopyrightsecuredbyDigiprove©2022AnitaWood


What it means to humble yourself? ›

idiom. : to do or say something which shows that one knows one has been wrong, has behaved with too much pride, etc. He needs to humble himself and ask for their forgiveness.

How do I humble myself? ›

  1. Thank God often and always. Thankfulness stops pride growing. ...
  2. Confess your sins regularly. Confession is a reality check as it reminds us who we are. ...
  3. Be ready to accept humiliations. ...
  4. Don't worry about status. ...
  5. Have a sense of humour. ...
  6. Listen to others. ...
  7. Ask questions. ...
  8. Consider others before yourself.
Apr 5, 2018

Why is it important to humble yourself? ›

By having a more down-to-earth view of yourself, you will be able to relate more to others. An arrogant self-centered person may see others as beneath them, not worth the time or effort. A humble person might see those same people not as those beneath them, but as those in need.

What is humble yourself before God? ›

It's the positioning of your heart to be open to His Word. It's taking the focus off of yourself and focusing on what really matters – God! Come to the cross with a clear conscience. Confess your sins to the Lord, give up whatever is burdening you, and be willing to leave it at the cross.

What are 5 ways to be humble? ›

To try to cultivate humility, you may want to try one or more of these activities:
  • Spend time listening to others. ...
  • Practice mindfulness, and focus on the present. ...
  • Be grateful for what you have. ...
  • Ask for help when you need it. ...
  • Seek feedback from others on a regular basis. ...
  • Review your actions against the language of pride.

What are 10 ways to be humble? ›

Developing humility requires that you:
  • Actively listen to others.
  • Ask questions to clarify and understand.
  • Stay focused on the situation.
  • Understand your faults and weaknesses.
  • Admit when you are wrong.
  • Realize that you do not know what others are thinking and feeling.
  • Put others before yourself.
  • Take an empathetic approach.
Sep 28, 2021

What is a good example of being humble? ›

To be humble does not mean to have a low opinion of yourself, but rather to have an accurate one and to put your accomplishments into perspective. For example, it means acknowledging that you are smart but not all-knowing or have power but are not omnipotent.

What is a truly humble person? ›

Truly humble people keep quiet about their accomplishments and the good things they do. Humble can also mean "low in station or quality." If you come from a humble background, you didn't grow up wealthy, and if you live in a humble apartment, it isn't overly grand or showy.

What is a humble person like? ›

A humble person does not flaunt their wealth, status, accomplishments, or anything else they may have. They are modest and often embarrassed by praise. Instead of being proud of themselves, a humble person will be happy for others who deserve the credit.

How to be humble like Jesus? ›

To be humble is to recognize gratefully our dependence on the Lord—to understand that we have constant need for His support. Humility is an acknowledgment that our talents and abilities are gifts from God. It is not a sign of weakness, timidity, or fear; it is an indication that we know where our true strength lies.

What are examples of not being humble? ›

Examples of false humility include deflecting praise we truly deserve, fishing for compliments to draw attention to ourselves, “humble-bragging” (talking about how humble we are), falsely portraying helplessness or a lack of power, and self-deprecating humor.

What does don't humble yourself mean? ›

This means don't either elevate or negate yourself in respect to others; judge yourself according to your own standards, independently of the accomplishments of others. The opposite of humble is great/magnanimous (not bragging).

What did Jesus say about being humble? ›

He taught them a parable and then said, “Whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted” (Luke 14:11; see also Luke 18:14).

What does the Bible say about humbling yourself? ›

Matthew 23:8-12

The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

What is the spiritual meaning of humble? ›

Humility is a grace that attracts more grace. Pride closes the door to spiritual growth, but humility opens the door of your life to more of God's grace. To the humble, God gives patience, and peace, and gentleness. The fruit of the Spirit grows in the soil of humility. Humility is the key to spiritual growth.

How can I be humble but still confident? ›

5 Behaviors of Humble Confidence
  1. Practice Gratitude. Everyone has gifts and talents to share with others. ...
  2. Remain Grounded. Good leaders are those who stay focused and continue to cultivate strong character traits like integrity, honesty, respect, empathy, and so on. ...
  3. Welcome Feedback. ...
  4. Be Present. ...
  5. Take Risks.
Mar 31, 2022

How to be humble but not a doormat? ›

This is what humility as a leader looks like in practice:
  1. You get comfortable saying “I don't know” or “I need help”.
  2. Ask a lot of questions. ...
  3. Ask others to step up and shine.
  4. Don't be afraid to make mistakes. ...
  5. Ask how you can make it better for others.
  6. Stretch your team and invest in their development.
Aug 29, 2017

How do you keep a humble heart? ›

Heart humility does not require reserve or timid postures in our interactions with others, but rather a quietness in our being, a quiet knowingness of who we are. Heart humility is being honest with ourselves and others, and expressing our gratitude and respect for all involved.

How do you know if you are humble? ›

Humble people resist the urge of always wanting to be right. They're willing to admit error when they are wrong, they allow others to save face when they're right, and they don't take things personally. They are masters of letting go and moving on. This is their secret to enjoying life.

What causes a lack of humility? ›

Let's look at it another way. A person who lacks humility is arrogant. It is a person who only thinks of themselves and sees themselves as higher and better than others. There is no room for an arrogant person to improve themselves because they do not recognize their flaws.

What is humble vs humility? ›

Humbleness and humility both refer to the quality of being modest. While humbleness can also mean the state of being or feeling low in rank, as in The humbleness of his upbringing accustomed him to living simply, humility only refers to having a modest opinion of oneself.

How do you know if you are not humble? ›

One indication that arrogance, rather than humility, dominates is how and when people speak the real truth. People who use anger, bitterness, or feeling offended as fuel to speak the real truth are arrogant, not humble. They're more concerned for themselves than others.

What is the opposite of a humble person? ›

vain. chesty. self-assertive. dominant. high-and-mighty.

Who is most humble person? ›

10 Influential People Showed The World That Humility Is All That...
  • Jose Mujica.
  • 3 Joyce Banda.
  • Sushil Koirala.
  • Warren Buffett.
  • 6 . APJ Abdul Kalam, Former Indian President.
  • PM Narendra Modi.
  • Dutch PM Mark Rutte.
  • Azim Premji.
Oct 2, 2019

What are the 8 marks of humility? ›

In Chasing Humility, he helps you explore eight essential aspects of humility in the life of a Christian: authenticity, confidence, gratitude, love, praise, empowerment, mentoring, and breaking barriers.

Is being humble a strength? ›

Humility is proven to be a powerful personality trait. It can boost work performance, improve the quality of our relationships, and even support mental wellbeing in the face of adversity. By being humble, we are better able to celebrate the successes of others without feeling jealous or resentful of their progress.

What are 5 characteristics of a humble leader? ›

But there are certain qualities that humble leaders tend to have in common, including:
  • A desire to learn. ...
  • The ability to reveal what they don't know. ...
  • Solid listening skills. ...
  • A focus on collaboration. ...
  • More authenticity. ...
  • A compassionate leadership style. ...
  • A willingness to admit when they're wrong.
Mar 29, 2022

How do you walk humbly with God? ›

Walking Humbly With God Means Letting Him Teach Us What Is Good. Jesus brought together loving God and loving neighbors in Matthew 22. He communicated his expectation and desire for us, his deeply loved children, to treat each other fairly and with kindness — with justice and mercy.

What happens when you're too humble? ›

You'll end up being a follower, rather than a leader

Being overly humble can result in you becoming a follower, rather than a leader. Constantly being soft-spoken, letting others dictate decisions with their input, or not fully utilizing your abilities to provide value, can all lead to you taking a backseat.

Is a humble person quiet? ›

Humility is sometimes referred to as the quiet virtue or the quiet strength. Rightfully so, as humility involves thinking less of ourselves and the noisy internal “ego” in our head and quietly focusing on others.

Is being silent humble? ›

Humility – for both male and female leaders — is not about being silenced. The definition of humility is: the feeling or attitude that you have no special importance that makes you better than others; lack of pride. True humility is about not trying to be the Most Important Person in the room.

Is humble a good personality? ›

Truly humble people think well of themselves and have a good sense of who they are, but they also are aware of their mistakes, gaps in their knowledge, and imperfections. Most importantly, they are content without being a center of attention or getting praised for their accomplishments.

Can you be humble with low self-esteem? ›

Humility does not imply low self-esteem. If confidence is often faked by positive affirmations about yourself, humility is not created through negative ones. Humility is simply about focusing on the unknown rather than the known.

What are four qualities of a person with humility? ›

After all, who doesn't need greater humility?), here are 13 habits of humble people:
  • They're Situationally Aware. ...
  • They Retain Relationships. ...
  • They Make Difficult Decisions With Ease. ...
  • They Put Others First. ...
  • They Listen. ...
  • They're Curious. ...
  • They Speak Their Minds. ...
  • They Take Time To Say “Thank You”
Mar 1, 2015

Who is the humble woman in the Bible? ›

Abigail is a lesser-known heroine in the Bible, a humble woman who was married to a wealthy scoundrel. Abigail combined her wisdom with her wealth to appear before an approaching enemy to plead for the safety of her husband's household.

What was Jesus greatest act of humility? ›

Jesus humbled himself even further in this life that he, even though he has all might and power and sovereignty, in obedience to the Father and because he loved the world suffered and died on a cross in the ultimate display of shame and humiliation.

How does the Bible define humble? ›

The Bible defines humility as “the fear of the Lord” (Proverbs 22:4). Its etymological root is in the Latin word "humus" meaning "of the earth." To be humble is to be face down in the dirt, submitting to the authority of another, without personal pride. This is the Christian's proper position before the Lord.

Does the Bible say humble yourself? ›

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will heal their land."

What is the spiritual definition of humble? ›

Humility is a grace that attracts more grace. Pride closes the door to spiritual growth, but humility opens the door of your life to more of God's grace. To the humble, God gives patience, and peace, and gentleness. The fruit of the Spirit grows in the soil of humility.

What does humble mean spiritual? ›

Humility is an attitude of spiritual modesty that comes from understanding our place in the larger order of things. It entails not taking our desires, successes, or failings too seriously.

How do I know if I am humble? ›

A humble person does not flaunt their wealth, status, accomplishments, or anything else they may have. They are modest and often embarrassed by praise. Instead of being proud of themselves, a humble person will be happy for others who deserve the credit.

What are signs of a humble person? ›

13 Habits Of Humble People
  • They're Situationally Aware. ...
  • They Retain Relationships. ...
  • They Make Difficult Decisions With Ease. ...
  • They Put Others First. ...
  • They Listen. ...
  • They're Curious. ...
  • They Speak Their Minds. ...
  • They Take Time To Say “Thank You”
Mar 1, 2015

What are three characteristics of humility? ›

ARE YOU HUMBLE PERSON? 20 Characteristics of Humble People
  • Humble people are willing to be obedient no matter what the cost.
  • Humble people care more about the rights others before themselves.
  • Humble people are servants.
  • Humble people don't care who gets the credit.
  • Humble people put others before themselves.
Feb 6, 2017

How do you keep a humble spirit? ›

Here are 4 ways to create a spirit of humility:
  1. Don't think less of yourself, just think of yourself less.
  2. Allow yourself to fail, but know it's not the end of the world when you do.
  3. When mistakes are made, recognize the problem, solve it and move forward with new knowledge.
Sep 16, 2013

Can you humble yourself and pray? ›

2 Chronicles 7:14 King James Version (KJV)

if my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

When should you not be humble? ›

Never humble yourself, especially when you do it to make others feel better about themselves. In fact, don't compare yourself with others. This means don't either elevate or negate yourself in respect to others; judge yourself according to your own standards, independently of the accomplishments of others.

Who humble himself in the Bible? ›

Given this background, it is stunning to read about Christ in Philippians 2:8 — in perhaps one of the most striking assertions in all the Scriptures: “he humbled himself.” God himself, fully divine and fully human in the person of his Son, humbled himself.


1. Christian Humility | What it Means to be Humble
(Justin Khoe)
(Howell Consultations)
3. What does it mean to humble yourself before God?
(Dynamic Love Ministries)
(Unlost Finding Truth)
(THE BEAT by Allen Parr)
6. How do You Humble Yourself Under God's Hand? 1 Peter 5:6. (#175)
(Bible Study Verse by Verse)
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