Open Mic, Theology & Worldview

Open Mic: What is the Biblical Definition of Humility? by Caroline Housworth

Think about some people you know who are humble. What is it about them that reflects humility? Is it that they do not think too highly of themselves? Although that trait is not necessarily bad to possess, it does not align with the Bible’s definition of humility. In C.S. Lewis’s book, Mere Christianity, the famous author writes, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.” But is this the Bible’s definition of humility? If so, how do we apply it to our own lives?

In Philippians 2:8, the Bible describes Jesus’s life and crucifixion as humble. If the definition of humility is not thinking highly of yourself, then, hypothetically, the Philippians passage would be false. This is because Jesus did think highly of himself: He was fully aware that He was the Son of God. Therefore, in order for this passage to be true in its claim that Jesus is humble, humility would have to have a different meaning. Philippians 2 provides the definition, stating, “Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.” It continues in verse seven, explaining, “He made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” Humility is about following Jesus’s example of servitude and living for others, as both C.S. Lewis and the Bible clearly explain.

Thinking of yourself less means thinking about God and others more. That’s what humility is about. Applying it to our own lives starts with things like pausing to check ourselves whilst making decisions. We should consider various questions such as, “What choice am I leaning toward?” and “Is my choice going to benefit me more than others?” This can just start with little decisions, like using free time to listen to family members or letting others go ahead of you in line. In order to develop the humility that Jesus had, we all need to take selfless steps every day, no matter how small.

 

Photo Credit: Caroline Housworth

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Meet the Author

How old are you?

I’m fifteen.

Where do you live?

I live in Kratie, Cambodia.

What classes are you taking with TPS?

This year, I’m taking Psychology and Counseling from a Biblical Perspective, Algebra 2 (Honors), AP World History – Modern, Chemistry (Honors), English 4/5 Advanced Comp – Style and Rhetoric (Honors), Theology Matters, and Spanish 2 Language and Culture with TPS.

What is your favorite thing about writing?

My favorite thing about writing is that it’s a way for me to format my opinion well because I can take the time to revise and fix my arguments.

9 Comments

  1. this was very challenging and well written… great job on this!

  2. I love that quote by C.S. Lewis – great job! Let us all strive to meet the Biblical standard of humility…

  3. nice jobb and that island looks familiar…

  4. good job. I have had alot of trouble understanding the subject of humility, so thank you for clearing that up. Want you to know that God is speaking through you to others and me for that matter. Great job keep it up.

  5. Woohooo Mom! Love this <3

  6. Thank you for this! The true definition of humility is a question I’ve been thinking over very carefully for a little while now, and your thoughts here are very helpful—I hadn’t thought of the part about Jesus, for example. (I love that C.S. quote too, BTW!) So ja, I think I needed this, thank you so much!! ❤
    You’re on TPS Forums, right? I feel like I’ve seen you there… Anyway, I’d love to talk about this some more with you (sbarbieri is my tag), if you’re up for that… Like I said, this is something I’ve been working over in my mind lately, and I’d appreciate having someone else to bounce my thoughts off of. 🙂