Humility shows we know we have failures and deficiencies. We accept them in others because we have them too.
I Peter 5:5-7 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
The humble are gentle, longsuffering, forgiving, and peacemakers. If we can’t have patience for someone else’s failures, then pride is at work. We’ll get angry, frustrated, and pushed out of shape. Humility knows that mistakes and deficiencies are part of life. Making mistakes in the medical field is not acceptable because they can be fatal. However, we need tolerance for others deficiencies and our own in other areas of life. Longsuffering and patience are part of humility.
I Peter 5:5-7 (Amplified Bible, Classic Ed.) Likewise, you who are younger and of lesser rank, be subject to the elders (the ministers and spiritual guides of the church)—[giving them due respect and yielding to their counsel]. Clothe (apron) yourselves, all of you, with humility [as the garb of a servant, so that its covering cannot possibly be stripped from you, with freedom from pride and arrogance] toward one another. For God sets Himself against the proud (the insolent, the overbearing, the disdainful, the presumptuous, the boastful)—[and He opposes, frustrates, and defeats them], but gives grace (favor, blessing) to the humble. Therefore humble yourselves [demote, lower yourselves in your own estimation] under the mighty hand of God, that in due time He may exalt you, Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.
We need to clothe ourselves with humility like a tightly tied apron, so it can’t be stripped away. God only gives grace to the humble. If we’re unkind or impatient to others, we’re not clothed with humility. We can ask for help because we all need help at times. We shouldn’t insist on doing things our way if someone helps us. Insisting on our way comes from pride.
Humility shows in being quick to forgive, even if someone doesn’t ask. Are we quick to ask forgiveness when we have offended someone or need to make something right? If we’re not clothed with humility, we won’t be able to do it. God will give us grace to ask forgiveness when we’re humble.
A story about Professor Blackie of Edinburgh University, Scotland (1825–1826) is an example of being quick to forgive:
Professor Blackie was lecturing to a new class with whose personnel he was imperfectly acquainted. A student rose to read a portion, his book in his left hand. “Sir,” thundered Blackie, “hold your book in your right hand!” and as the student would have spoken “No words, sir! Your right hand, I say!” The student held up his right arm, ending piteously at the wrist. “Sir, I hae nae right hand,”…Before Blackie could open his lips there arose a storm of hisses and by it his voice was overborne. Then the professor…went down to the student he had unwittingly hurt, and put his arm around the lad’s shoulders and drew him close…”My boy,” said Blackie – he spoke very softly, yet not so softly that every word was audible in the hush that had fallen on the classroom “my boy, you’ll forgive me that I was over-rough I did not know I did not know!”
The humble are peacemakers. We don’t pass on bad stories about others. It’s from pride if someone’s name is mentioned and we make them look bad. Jesus was humble on the cross and said “forgive them…” when no one asked to be forgiven.
Philippians 2:1-8 (Amplified Bible, Classic Ed.) So by whatever…our mutual dwelling in Christ…strengthening and consoling and encouraging [our relationship] in Him [affords], by whatever persuasive incentive there is in love, by whatever participation in the [Holy] Spirit [we share], and by whatever depth of affection and compassionate sympathy, Fill up and complete my joy by living in harmony and being of the same mind and one in purpose, having the same love, being in full accord and of one harmonious mind and intention. Do nothing from factional motives [through contentiousness, strife, selfishness, or for unworthy ends] or prompted by conceit and empty arrogance. Instead, in the true spirit of humility (lowliness of mind) let each regard the others as better than and superior to himself [thinking more highly of one another than you do of yourselves]. Let each of you esteem and look upon and be concerned for not [merely] his own interests, but also each for the interests of others. Let this same attitude and purpose and [humble] mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus: [Let Him be your example in humility:] Who, although being essentially one with God and in the form of God [possessing the fullness of the attributes which make God], did not think this equality with God was a thing to be eagerly grasped or retained, But stripped Himself [of all privileges and rightful dignity]…to assume the guise of a servant (slave), in that He became like men…born a human being. And after He had appeared in human form, He abased and humbled Himself [still further] and carried His obedience to the extreme of death…of the cross!
If we don’t think more highly of others, pride will be working in us. Humility makes us concerned for each other. We have to follow Jesus’ example and put humility on every day, so no circumstance can strip it away. Paul didn’t have an inflated opinion of himself. He thought he was the worst of sinners and least of all saints because he persecuted the church. He had a humble attitude in prison or he couldn’t have learned to be content. He was just a humble servant of God.
I Corinthians 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles…not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
I Timothy 1:16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.
Ephesians 3:8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;
Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses and tried to elevate themselves above him. They complained when things weren’t going like they wanted. God heard and was angry. Moses was meek (humble, kind) above everyone on earth. God hates fault finding or making others look bad. God wants us to be humble, not murmur or complain if things don’t please us.
Numbers 12:1-10 And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: …Hath the Lord indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us?…Lord heard it. (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon…the earth.) And the Lord spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam…Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision…My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house. With him will I speak mouth to mouth…wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses? And the anger of the Lord was kindled…Miriam became leprous…
God caused Miriam to have leprosy because she had contention in her heart. She didn’t ask forgiveness, but Moses prayed for her. God healed her but she suffered for what she did. If we’re involved in division, we have to repent and will suffer for it.
Numbers 12:11-15 And Aaron said unto Moses…I beseech thee, lay not the sin upon us, wherein we have done foolishly, and wherein we have sinned. Let her not be as one dead, of whom the flesh is half consumed…Moses cried…Heal her now, O God, I beseech thee. And the Lord said…let her be shut out from the camp seven days…after that let her be received…
Miriam died years later so Moses and Aaron were in grief. When the people complained about not having water, Moses was upset and didn’t obey God. God expected him to obey, even if he was frustrated, in grief, and in a bad situation. God expects us to obey, even if we’re in grief or things are very bad. We need to pray for strength and God’s grace. We can’t lean on our own strength or we’ll sin and suffering for it. Moses repented and got to go to heaven but didn’t go into Canaan.
Numbers 20:7-12 And the Lord spake…Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly…speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water…And Moses took the rod…said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock? And…smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly…Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of…Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land…
Josiah had bad parents but chose to do good and serve God at 8 years old. He didn’t get lifted in pride so God blessed him.
II Kings 22:2 And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in all the way of David…turned not aside…
At 26 years old, he heard the law. He humbled himself, had a tender heart, and was willing to do what God said.
II Kings 22:8-13 And Hilkia…found the book of the law…Shaphan read it before the king…when the king had heard…he rent his clothes…saying, Go ye, enquire of the Lord for me…concerning the words of this book…
II Kings 22:19-20 Because thine heart was tender, and thou hast humbled thyself before the Lord, when thou heardest what I spake…hast rent thy clothes, and wept before me; I also have heard thee…shalt be gathered into thy grave in peace; and thine eyes shall not see all the evil which I will bring upon this place. And they brought the king word again.
(Notes from the Mature Class Bible Study, teacher Edith Tolbert)