A black and white photo capturing an open Bible resting on a weathered wooden table, surrounded by worn-out pages and a pair of folded hands, symbolizing humility and reverence towards the Word of God.

How To Be Humble According To The Bible

Humility is a virtue that is emphasized throughout the Bible. Jesus himself demonstrated profound humility during his time on earth, providing an example for all followers of Christ. If you want to cultivate humility in your own life, here are some key principles from Scripture to guide you.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: The Bible teaches we should humble ourselves before God, consider others above ourselves, serve others, and recognize our dependence on God in all areas of life.

Recognize Your Need for God

Admit that you are a sinner in need of forgiveness and restoration

The first step to cultivating humility before God is admitting our sinfulness and need for His grace. As Romans 3:23 tells us, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” We are all sinners who make mistakes daily.

Without the redemptive power of Christ, our sins would lead to spiritual death (Romans 6:23).

By acknowledging we fall infinitely short of God’s perfection, we recognize our dependence on His mercy and forgiveness. As 1 John 1:9 promises, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

God eagerly awaits our repentance to restore our relationship with Him.

Acknowledge that all your gifts and talents are from God

Pride causes us to take credit for our skills and successes rather than attributing them to God’s grace. But as James 1:17 reminds us, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights.”

The talents we have, the resources we possess, the opportunities presented to us – all originate from God’s hand.

By recognizing that we own nothing good in ourselves, we destroy the illusion of self-sufficiency. Instead of becoming prideful, we turn these gifts back to glorifying the One who gave them. As 1 Corinthians 4:7 states, “What do you have that you did not receive?

And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?”

Ask God to reveal areas of pride and self-sufficiency

Due to our fallen state, pride lingers subtly and secretly in each of our hearts. We may not even recognize swelling pride and self-glorification within ourselves. As Jeremiah 17:9 warns, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”

Therefore, we need the discernment of the Holy Spirit to illuminate where self-promotion, arrogance, and self-sufficiency hide. As we pray the words of Psalm 139:23-24, “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.

See if there is any offensive way in me,” God will faithfully uncover any barriers separating us from complete reliance on Him.

Consider Others Above Yourself

Value others above your own interests and agenda

One of the key ways to be humble according to the Bible is to value others above yourself. This means considering their needs, desires, and well-being as more important than your own. As Philippians 2:3-4 explains, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.

Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” When you esteem others higher than yourself, you are living out true Christ-like humility.

Practically, this might look like putting aside your own schedule or agenda in order to help a friend in need. It could mean patiently listening to someone instead of talking about yourself. Humility involves setting aside your own ego and pride in order to make room for others.

As Romans 12:10 says, “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Each time you honor others’ needs rather than demanding your own way, you reflect the humble and sacrificial love of Jesus.

Esteem others as better than yourself

Another aspect of humility according to Scripture is esteeming others as better than yourself. Philippians 2:3 instructs, “In humility consider others better than yourselves.” This does not necessarily mean thinking that others are morally superior to you.

Rather, it means viewing them as worthy of honor and respect, just as you desire respect for yourself.Author Nancy Leigh DeMoss explains, “True humility is not thinking less of myself; it is thinking of myself less.”

When you focus less on yourself and your own status, it becomes easier to esteem others highly.

Esteeming others as better than yourself also means being willing to serve. As Jesus demonstrated when He washed the disciples’ feet, humble service often requires laying aside rights and privileges for the sake of others (John 13:1-17).

Humility may mean sacrificing your place of honor or letting someone else go first. It means not demanding your own way but yielding to benefit others. As Romans 12:10 says, “Outdo one another in showing honor.” Look for ways you can empower and elevate others rather than promoting yourself.

Look out for the interests and needs of others

The Bible consistently equates humility with looking out for the interests of others. Philippians 2:4 says that in humility we should look “not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” First Corinthians 10:24 tells us to “seek the good of others.”

And Romans 12:13 says we should meet the needs of the saints.

Practically, this means being aware of people’s needs and looking for ways to assist them. It could involve welcoming a new neighbor, visiting someone who is sick, or providing a meal for a family with a new baby. Humility shuns selfishness and seeks creative ways to serve.

The apostle Paul provides a great example of this others-focused humility. He says in 1 Corinthians 9:19, “Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.” He gave up his own rights and comforts for the sake of serving more people.

As you make a habit of looking out for others’ interests above your own, you reflect Christ’s sacrificial love. You become less self-oriented and more focused on the needs around you. Humility involves setting aside your own agenda in order to assist and care for others.

Imitate Christ’s Humility

Have the same mindset as Christ who took the form of a servant

Jesus demonstrated immense humility by taking on the form of a servant, even though He is God (Philippians 2:5-8). We are called to have the same servant mindset that Jesus had. This means putting others first and being willing to serve in lowly ways, just as Christ washed His disciples’ feet (John 13:1-17).

When we serve others in humility, it reflects Christ’s nature in us.

Follow Christ’s example of washing feet and taking the low position

One of the most striking examples of Jesus’ humility was when He washed His disciples’ feet at the Last Supper (John 13:1-17). The act of foot washing was usually done by the lowliest servant, yet Jesus willingly took on this role to model servitude and humility.

Just as Christ girded Himself with a towel and took the low position to serve His followers, we too must clothe ourselves in humility and not think we are above certain tasks or people (1 Peter 5:5-7).

Learn from Christ’s gentleness, mercy, and meekness

Jesus perfectly displayed humility in how He interacted with people. Though He is the King of kings, Christ was gentle, merciful and meek in dealing with others (Matthew 11:29). He didn’t lord over people or demand His rights.

We are called to follow His example by acting in gentleness and patience toward others, bearing with one another in love (Ephesians 4:2). Just as Jesus showed mercy to us, we must graciously extend mercy to those who wrong us (Matthew 18:21-35).

As we grow in Christlike humility, we will become more gentle, forgiving and meek.

Serve Rather Than Be Served

Use your gifts and abilities to benefit others

We all have unique talents and abilities that can be used to help and serve others. Instead of seeking recognition or positions of power, look for opportunities to humbly use your skills to meet the needs around you.

For example, if you enjoy cooking, you could regularly make meals for an elderly neighbor or someone recovering from illness. If you’re great at fixing things, offer to help repair homes for those who can’t afford repairs.

Or if you’re an accountant, provide financial services pro bono for low-income families or nonprofits in need. Being humble means not letting your talents go to waste but generously sharing them with others.

Take on menial tasks and roles instead of seeking recognition

When serving in a church, nonprofit or other organization, resist the temptation to seek prominent roles and responsibilities. Offer to take on humble jobs that others don’t want to do – like cleaning bathrooms, filing paperwork, setting up chairs and tables, or stuffing envelopes.

Avoid jockeying for positions of visibility or power. Jesus modeled true humility by washing the feet of his disciples, a common task of servants at that time (John 13:1-17). Look for meaningful ways to serve behind the scenes without need for praise or credit.

Your humble service allows others to shine.

Allow others to teach and correct you

Approach conversations and relationships with a teachable spirit. Don’t always try to be the expert or have the right answers. Be willing to listen, learn and receive correction from others, regardless of their experience or position. Admit when you’re wrong or have room to grow in an area.

For example, if a Sunday school student respectfully challenges your interpretation of a Bible passage, don’t get defensive. Thank them for their insight and do more study later if needed. Proverbs reminds us, “Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future” (Proverbs 19:20).

Humility requires an openness to keep learning.

Pursue a Life of Submission

Submit to God’s will and leading in your life

According to the Bible, pursuing a life of humility means submitting to God’s will and leading in all areas of your life (Proverbs 3:5-6). This means trusting that God’s plans are better than our own and surrendering our desires to follow His guidance.

Some practical ways to submit to God’s will include reading the Bible daily, praying for wisdom, and being obedient to where He leads even when it’s difficult or uncomfortable. As we submit, God promises to direct our paths and give us peace as we trust in Him.

Submit to church leaders and elders

The Bible encourages Christians to submit to the authority and teaching of church leaders as they follow Christ (Hebrews 13:17). Although leaders are imperfect, God calls us to respect their position. We can humbly submit by listening to sermons, receiving their counsel, and serving in ways that bless the church body.

A humble heart realizes that no one knows everything, so we can benefit from learning under godly leaders. We are still responsible for studying the Bible ourselves and testing leaders’ teaching against God’s Word (Acts 17:11).

But submitting to wise and accountable shepherds helps us walk in humility.

Submit to governmental authorities

Even when we disagree with laws or leaders, God’s Word tells believers to submit to governing authorities as He institutes them for society’s good (Romans 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13-17). Exceptions could involve immoral commands that clearly violate God’s law.

In general, though, we are called to obey laws, pay taxes, honor leaders, and live as responsible citizens for God’s glory. We can humbly and respectfully express dissent when needed. But maintaining a submissive heart to authority cultivates humility and trust in God’s sovereignty over nations.


Developing Christ-like humility takes intentionality, honesty before God, and a willingness to put aside self-interest. But it leads to healthy relationships, freedom from pride, and a life that ultimately glorifies God.

As James 4:10 (NIV) encourages, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”

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