The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility. Proverbs 15:33 KJV
Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honour is humility. Proverbs 18:12 KJV
In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” 1 Peter 5:5 NIV
By definition–humility is not an act–an attempt to fool others, but it is the essence of sincerity demonstrated by what we say or do. Per the dictionary–“the quality or condition of being humble; modest opinion or estimate of one’s own importance, rank, etc.”
When we are truly sincere–saying or doing–from the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks–and we don’t have to tell anyone, we are being sincere, they’ll know it by what they see or hear.
Solomon reminds us that when we have reverential fear–respect–of The Lord, we receive instruction from Him because He is the only wise person and then when we act upon the instructions given, we do not need to boast of anything–bringing attention to ourselves, but we always point people in the direction of Him and He then allows to be honored by mankind. Solomon also tells us that when a person experiences destruction (defeat) it is because of their haughty heart–arrogance in their thinking themselves superior to others. This is especially true of those who think they are a “savior” and promote themselves as such, saying things like, “I’m the only one who can fix all the wrong in the world.”
There is only one Savior and His job has already been completed on the cross. But He has given us power to do all things well through Him. When we acknowledge that it is His grace, mercy and goodness that guided us in all we do that honors Him, He honors us with favor from all we meet. Walking in God’s favor, without drawing attention to self, is the greatest knowledge in the world to me–and I know–without living to please Him, I cannot walk in His favor.
How does God honor us? I cannot speak for others, but I can certainly speak to what He’s done for me. I have obtained jobs–positions for which I did not meet the criteria–initially–but His favor was showered upon me and not only did I get the jobs, but I learned quickly and was promoted into other positions. Instead of bragging about me, I expressed an interest in the job and learning all I could to be a benefit to the place where I worked. At one job, because of my ability to get things done, within the my first year of being with the company, a promotional position was created–just for me–in order for them to adjust my salary based upon my worth to them (so my boss at that time said). That’s God’s favor–not my ability. All I did was what I knew to do.
When we are truly humble–we don’t need to broadcast, “I mean it sincerely, believe me”, rant or rave in order to get attention. God already knows our heart and when we honor Him in what we say and do, He honors us with His favor. We don’t have to beg for it or pray for it–He simply gives.
Humility–is also not a “tone of voice” especially when the words we speak have not changed their tone. We can whisper hateful, spiteful words and that is not a show of humility. True humility considers the words before they are spoken, before they hit the airwaves and are mindful of those who are going to hear them. We can shout our praise for God and demonstrate humility because it’s not about us, but about Him.
Understanding who He is and all He has done for us, ignites humility in all who love Him because our desire is to please Him and not ourselves.