body of water between green leaf trees

By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life. ~ Proverbs 22:4

I have heard many success stories. Heartfelt testimonies, from folks who succeeded in spite of impossible odds. One thing they all had in common… humility! For every person, in addition to their hard work and persistence. All acknowledged that his or her success came from something greater than themselves. Success came from the grace and favor of God.

In the book Humilitas, the author states that most “influential and inspiring” leaders often display humility.[1] Which at first glance seems outrageously contrary. Based on the ordinary use of the word humility. However, when one looks at the teachings of Jesus Christ and the lives of successful leaders, humility takes on a different value.

Our understanding of the term “humility” comes from the influences of “Hebrew-speaking Jews, Latin-speaking Romans, and Greeks”, particularly the Christians that spoke Greek during the first century.[2] In those societies, the term humility had both a negative and positive meaning. The negative meaning… “to be placed low” and the positive meaning… “to lower oneself or to be humble”.[3]

From the teachings of Jesus Christ, humility is an admirable, positive trait, even a virtue.[4] Just read Philippians 2:3-11. Therefore, it is correct to define humility as the honorable choice to relinquish one’s status, and utilize one’s resources, or use one’s influence for the good of others before oneself.[5] Wow, that is an amazing idea. Simple, yet… exemplary of the life that Jesus Christ led and encouraged His disciples to follow.

The choice to lift up others through self-sacrifice, by lowering oneself, below one’s rightful statues is a precious hidden treasure. For according to Luke 14:1, those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. Since it is God, who leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble His way as proclaimed in Psalm 25:9.  Finally, the ESV renders Proverbs 22:4 as… The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life.

God Bless… I am Wiley’s granddaughter.

[1] John Dickson, Humilitas (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2011), 19.

[2] Ibid., 24.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid., 99-112.

[5] Ibid., 24-25.

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