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Characteristics of Humility in the Bible

You Don’t Have to Do It on Your Own: Characteristics of Humility in the Bible

I always felt like I needed to push myself to do everything on my own. That I shouldn’t rely on others because I didn’t want to bother them. This felt heavy. 

Consequently, it made me struggle in my relationship with Jesus—not feeling like I should depend on him—until I learned that living in humility through him sets you free. There are characteristics of humility in the Bible that can help you live this way. 

Jesus is with you always; he doesn’t want you doing life alone. He wants you to depend on him. He is a loving father whose arms are open. He wants to embrace you, hear your cries, and be your help. 

When you embrace the gift of living a humbled life before him, you can let go of depending on yourself to find the freedom you desire.

What Does the Bible Say About Humility?

The Bible tells you that Jesus loves the one who is humble before him—not the proud who think they can do it alone, without him. 

“But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’” (James 4:6, NIV) 

You can accept this truth and receive his help. This allows you to know you don’t have to do it all alone anymore. You can let him take care of everything for you, and live in freedom.

Freedom from carrying your problems—what will happen with your job, kids, etc. Freedom to just do the things he calls you to do—well, with joy. This takes away the heaviness.

Additionally, living in humility is a way to deeply love God, love yourself, and love people, according to the greatest commandment (Matthew 22:37-39). 

Love God 

God loves the humble at heart; he will elevate those who humble themselves. 

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

Love Yourself

Humility leads to knowing the Lord more as you go to him; this gives you the best life to love yourself. 

“Humility is the fear of the Lord; its wages are riches and honor and life.” (Proverbs 22:4, NIV) 

It allows you to better know how you were created and thus attain great wisdom. 

Love People

As you adjust your mindset to live out the qualities of a humble person, you’ll not only love God and yourself, in response you will also love people. You will see that you don’t have to think about yourself.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-5, NIV)

The benefits of humility in the Bible are many… but most importantly they lead you to a closer, deeper relationship with your loving Father and set you free from the heaviness of depending on yourself.

On Your Own

Examples of Humility in the Bible

Specifically, defining what is humility in the Bible is important. A humble person means a person who is dependent on the Lord, knowing that they need him always, as exemplified through Jesus. 

Jesus is God, yet he came down to earth as a man to show us how to live. He clearly demonstrates the qualities of humility that you need to put on. 

Jesus was humble by accepting his self-limitations as a human by sleeping, eating, and not committing to everything. 

He did only what his Father told him to do. He didn’t want others to announce what he did for them but told them to keep what he did to themselves. 

“Jesus sent him away at once with a strong warning: ‘See that you don’t tell this to anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.’” (Mark 1:43-44, NIV) 

Jesus models the attributes of humility that we need to follow. These examples of types of humility in the Bible will help you to know how you can live a humble life.

Mark 1:43-44

Characteristics of Humility in the Bible

To know how to be humble like Jesus you need to study his life. As you do this, you will find characteristics of a humble person according to the Bible to help you depend on him. 

Six qualities of a humble person are listed below; I pray they will help you practically learn how you can depend on him and not feel like you have to do it alone any longer. He is with you, always. 

1. Prioritize Prayer

A humble person prays continuously. Jesus prayed to the Father often when he was on earth. An example of this was him praying about his sorrow for hours in the Garden of Gethsemane before going to the cross (Matthew 26:36-46). 

He also spent alone time talking to God after sermons (Matthew 14:23). He prayed all the time for the disciples, himself, and those who put their faith in him (John 17). 

This shows that you, too, should be praying, as it means you are dependent on him. It enables him to be involved in all aspects of your life and reminds you that you always need him. That you need his intervention, because you can’t do it all on your own.

Humility in God is being in prayer always, in good or bad times. Pray about everything, everywhere. Big or small, just pray. This is an attribute of a humble person.

2. God’s Will Not Yours

Another of the characteristics of humility is wanting God’s will over your own, no matter what the cost is for you. You can see Jesus telling the Jewish leaders that he wanted the Father’s will over his own. 

“By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.” (John 5:30, NIV) 

Furthermore, he performs the greatest act of humility by laying down his life and denying himself when taking on the cross.

Practically, you can surrender your day and time to Jesus by asking him how he wants you to use it. You can make choices each day to do the things he is calling you to do—not what you want to do—to further the kingdom and live out the purposes he has for your life.

John 5:30

3. Putting Others Before Yourself

Jesus put others before himself. He loved others, no matter what, and showed it in multiple ways—by healing them, listening to them, forgiving them, etc. 

He didn’t think about himself and his own needs. It’s mentioned in scripture how at one time he didn’t even have a place to lay his head (Matthew 8:20). You can follow Jesus’s example and put others before yourself. 

“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.” (Philippians 2:3-4, NIV) 

Living out this quality of humility shows others that you don’t value yourself over them. That you don’t see yourself as more important. 

Put others before yourself by first examining your motives towards others. Don’t do things for self-gain or to raise yourself up. Do it out of wanting to show them the love of Christ, expecting nothing in return. 

Think of others and how you can bless them, trusting Jesus to take care of you. This is an attribute of humility.

4. Trusting Jesus

Trusting Jesus is another one of the characteristics of a humble person you can read about in the Bible. Jesus calls you to trust him with all your heart; he will guide and lead you. 

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6, NIV) 

You don’t have to try to control things—just trust him. He will always take care of you. This brings freedom. 

Trust Jesus in humility by letting go of worry, fear, and control. You can give those things to him and trust Jesus. It’s a choice, even if it’s moment by moment. This is humbling yourself before him. 

5. Obeying Jesus

Jesus wants you to obey him. Being obedient is a quality of humility. It demonstrates to him that you are aware you don’t know what to do and how to live your life—that you instead need his guidance. 

The Bible tells you how to live. You should aim to obey it. 

“He replied, ‘Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.’” (Luke 11:28, NIV) 

This is being humble before the Lord: acknowledging that his ways are best. Practically, you should read his word daily and live your life depending on the power of the Holy Spirit to obey it.

Luke 11:28

6. Respect Your Human Limitations

You can’t do it all; it’s not physically possible. You need to sleep, eat, heal, etc. 

When you acknowledge you can’t do it all and decide not to push yourself to try—but accept your limits before Jesus—this is being humble. 

Jesus respected his limits as a human when he was on Earth. You can see he experienced limits such as getting hungry and being in pain. He was also tempted in the wilderness by the enemy. 

“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” (Matthew 4:1, NIV) 

Although he was tempted, he didn’t sin because he depended on the Father. You too should depend on the Father when faced with a desire to push yourself too far. Accept rest as a gift. Examine in your life how you can choose to not push yourself and respect how you were created. How you can get the rest you need and eat better, etc. 

If you want to find freedom from the heavy weight of feeling like you have to do it all on your own, know you can live in humility by depending on Jesus. 

Living out these characteristics of humility in the Bible will help you. They include prioritizing prayer, wanting God’s will not yours, putting others before yourself, trusting Jesus, obeying him, and knowing your limitations. You can live a humble life before the Lord with the power of the Holy Spirit within you.

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4 Responses

    1. Hi. I’m so glad to hear this, and am praising God that you were so blessed by this article. I’m praying that God continues to give you more knowledge about him.
      It’s so wonderful to connect with you!

  1. Thanks Nikki. is a ministry that mails out free gospel tracts and free delivery. Some are in Spanish Chinese French and Filipino.

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Nikki Evanson

Hi, I'm Nikki

My goal is to help and equip Christians like you to live for Jesus by following Matthew 22:37-39: to love God and love people, and within this we need to learn how to love ourselves as God does.

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