July 31, 2020

The Path of Humility

Christianity embodies paradoxes: we die to live; give to receive; and humble ourselves to be exalted.

Adventist Review Editors

“When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German theologian and activist who wrote these words, was merely reflecting Christ’s invitation: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23). Christianity embodies paradoxes: we die to live; give to receive; and humble ourselves to be exalted. The greatest Christians have embodied humility the most clearly. Their example challenges every Christian to live humbly in the twenty-first century.—Editors.

“God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”

Apostle James (James 4:6).

“This is what the Lord says: ‘Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord.’”

Prophet Jeremiah (Jer. 9:23).

“The more humble and obedient to God a man is, the more wise and at peace he will be in all he does.”

Thomas À Kempis,
fifteenth-century Christian theologian.

“I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom and that of all around me seemed insufficient for that day.”

Abraham Lincoln,
former United States president.

“When a man truly sees himself, he knows nobody can say anything about him that is too bad.”

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones,
Welsh Protestant minister.

“Each one of us has as much need of God’s grace and forgiveness as the next person.”

Kari PAULSEn, MISSIONArY, author.

“As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you are looking down you cannot see something that is above you.”

C. S. Lewis, Christian apologist.

“True humility does not know that it is humble. If it did, it would be proud from the contemplation of so fine a virtue.”

Martin Luther,
Protestant reformer.

“There is universal respect and even admiration for those who are humble and simple by nature, and who have absolute confidence in all human beings irrespective of their social status.”

Nelson Mandela,
first Black president of South Africa.

“This statement [Micah 6:8] summarizes . . . the essence of true worship.”


“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.

And what does the Lord require of you?

To act justly and to love mercy

And to walk humbly with your God.”

Prophet Micah (Micah 6:8).

“Humility is perfect quietness of heart. It is to expect nothing, to wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing done against me. It is to be at rest when nobody praises me, and when I am blamed or despised. It is to have a blessed home in the Lord, where I can go in and shut the door, and kneel to my Father in secret, and am at peace as in a deep sea of calmness, when all around and above is trouble.”

Andrew Murray,
South African pastor and writer.

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”

Apostle Paul (Col. 3:12).

“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 others.”

Apostle Paul (Phil. 2:3, 4).

“Under the Holy Spirit’s working even the weakest [at Pentecost], by exercising faith in God, learned to improve their entrusted powers and to become sanctified, refined, and ennobled. As in humility they submitted to the molding influence of the Holy Spirit, they received of the fullness of the Godhead and were fashioned in the likeness of the divine.”

Ellen G. White
(The Acts of the Apostles, Pp. 49, 50).

“All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’ Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”

Apostle Peter (1 Peter 5:5, 6).

“Humility is the fear of the Lord; its wages are riches and honor and life.”

Proverbs 22:4.

“There are two things that men should never weary of, goodness and humility; we get none too much of them in this rough world among cold, proud people.”

Robert Lewis Stevenson,
Scottish novelist and poet.

“True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”

Rick Warren, Christian author.

“Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.”

Apostle Paul (Rom. 12:3).

“In the life of the disciple John true sanctification is exemplified. During the years of close association with Christ, he was often warned and cautioned by the Saviour; and these reproofs he accepted. As the character of the Divine One was manifested to him, John saw his own deficiencies, and was humbled by the revelation. Day by day, in contrast with his own violent spirit, he beheld the tenderness and forebearance of Jesus, and heard His lessons of humility and patience.”

Ellen G. White
(The Acts of the Apostles, p. 557).