“…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.” (1 Pet. 5:5-6)
I would submit, on the basis of this text, that humility is not a gift but a choice. A choice made in the same way you choose to wear a certain garment or put yourself under the authority of another. Nor should we assume that humble or even humiliating circumstances automatically leads to deferential behavior. A humble home does not guarantee a humble occupant; nor does a mansion always indicate a snob. “Poor in spirit” is not always synonymous with poor in purse. Humility is sensed more than seen. It has nothing to do with posture or a quiet voice, but everything to do with understanding and the ability to identify with others.
Clothe yourself with humility, says Peter. In other words, that expensive outfit you’re wearing should not be out of place in the company of a Wal-Mart special. If you have the vocabulary of a master wordsmith, you should still be able to chatter fluently with a child. And if you’re considered to be a theologian or a scholar, it should not limit your ability to communicate the glorious, simple gospel of the Death, Burial, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Humility is the path to the friendship of man (Prov. 6:3) and God (Psl. 10:17). Verse six says today’s humility is tomorrow’s exaltation. The Bible tells us that Jesus made a deliberate choice to humble Himself (Philip. 2:8), so shouldn’t we? It’s a choice; and the only thing that keeps us from choosing it…is pride.
“A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.” (Prov. 29:23)