If you want to be strong, be humble. Strength comes through humility. The Bible consistently reminds us of this paradox. As believers, we are called to be servants. To give up our rights and die to self. During our 21 Days of Strength, we’ve been reflecting on ways to find strength in the Lord. In considering humility as one of those ways, I’m reminded of Paul’s realization that only when he was “weak,” was he truly “strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
Bottom line? If I truly want to be strong in the Lord, I must also be humble. So I want to spend some time reflecting on the delicate balance in the Bible between strength and humility.
We hear a lot about humility, but it seems to be the virtue nobody really wants. We admire it when we see it in others. But it’s so against our nature to walk in humility that most of us run the other way.
I once read a quote that said something like this: “Truly great people are also the most humble. Arrogance is the consolation price for those who aren’t at the top.” I’ve found this to be true. Some of the most outstanding and honorable people I’ve met are also humble. It’s a virtue I greatly admire, and one I’ve tried to teach our children as they were growing up.
The Bible is clear about the connection between humility and honor. We’re reminded that “humility comes before honor” (Proverbs 18:12). “Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord, and he will lift you up,” comes the strong admonition in James 4:10. Humbling ourselves in this verse literally means “to be made low.” Another version adds weight to this promise: “He will lift you up and make your lives significant” (James 4:10 AMP).
A friend of mine who actually seems quite confident expressed his understanding of humility this way: “Without Christ, I am an incredibly insecure person, and so I stick close to Him.” Isn’t that what humility really is? Apart from Christ, I’m weak and I know it. So I’m going to make a point of sticking close to Him.
This is also called abiding. Jesus made it clear that abiding in Him is the secret to our strength. “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5 ESV).