1 Peter 5:5-7 NLT In the same way, you who are younger must accept the authority of the elders. And all of you, dress yourselves in humility as you relate to one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. (emphasis mine)
James 4:6-10 NLT And he gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor. (emphasis mine)
Proverbs 3:34 NLT The Lord mocks the mockers but is gracious to the humble.
God intentionally made everyone different. Every one of us is a person of unique and awesome design. We don’t have to measure up to others. Far from being a problem, we can learn to use our personalities constructively. Each one of us has a contribution to make that no one else can.
When you’re content in your relationship with God you can resist the temptation of the enemy to compare yourself with others.
Philippians 4:11-13 (NLT2)11 Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.12 I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.13 For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. (emphasis mine)
2 Corinthians 10:12 NLT Oh, don’t worry; we wouldn’t dare say that we are as wonderful as these other men who tell you how important they are! But they are only comparing themselves with each other, using themselves as the standard of measurement. How ignorant! (emphasis mine)
Jesus warned us not to get caught up in comparison.
Luke 18:9-14 NLT Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else: “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer : ‘I thank you, God, that I am not like other people—cheaters, sinners, adulterers. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’ “But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
While we may not set out to exalt ourselves when we compare ourselves to others, we certainly don’t do it to make ourselves feel inadequate or inferior. We most often compare ourselves to others out of our insecurity. We want to make ourselves feel better. We also compare because of our competitive or perfectionist nature. We want to be right, perfect, or just better than the other person.
Philippians 2:3 (NLT2)3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.
Let’s first get straight on what “getting humble” is not. It’s not trying to think poorly of ourselves or denigrating ourselves or anything like that. It actually involves taking the focus off ourselves. Getting humble is checking our tendency to think ourselves better than others, or more important, valuable, worthy of time or mindshare or respect. Getting humble is shutting down our tendency to "size people up” and position them on some scale—based on money, title, education, geography, whatever. Getting humble is recognizing all people as the careful works of God, equally worthy of love and sacrifice.
Getting humble is counterintuitive, and it moves against prevailing culture. You see, we men want to feel successful, important—and have others consider us so. Culture trains us, therefore, to promote ourselves; to be strategic with our time and attention; to let positions determine our treatment of others. This training is foolish. It misses the sense and strength of humbleness. Humility leads to happiness because it makes you teachable.
Happy people never stop growing. Happy people never stop discovering, never stop stretching, never stop learning. If you’ve stopped growing, you’re miserable, because you were made to grow.
Happiness and humility go together because humble people are teachable. They are always asking, “How can I be a better spouse? How can I be a better friend? How can I be a better boss? How can I be a better follower of Jesus?”
“Test yourselves to make sure you are solid in the faith. Don’t drift along taking everything for granted. Give yourselves regular checkups. You need firsthand evidence, not mere hearsay, that Jesus Christ is in you. Test it out. If you fail the test, do something about it”(2 Corinthians 13:5 The Message).
Imagine someone humble. They’re often fearless, able to act on convictions, rather than trying to impress. Their decision-making is often sound, unclouded by insecurity or prejudice. They listen and welcome honest differences. They abide critics, crushed not by their criticism. They’re often magnetic, treating all people with respect. They engender loyalty, camaraderie. King Solomon wrote, “with the humble is wisdom”
Proverbs 11:2 (NLT2)2 Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.
We want to work with humble people. We want to work for them and have them work for us. We want them as spouses, friends. But, mostly, we should want to get humble ourselves.