Word Nerd Wednesday – Humility

My dear friend Michelle Bengtson is back around My Messy Desk today sharing about a word that can be hard to swallow! But I love the insights she shares about how to apply this to our lives as we become MASTERPIECES – more like Christ in every way!


Humility: the state of being humble; the quality or state of not thinking that you are better than other people.

The Hebrew word for Humility is anavah, which means gentleness, help, or meekness.

The Greek word for Humility is tapeinophrosune, which means lowliness of mind; modesty; moderation as regulated by inner perspective; an inside-out virtue produced by comparing ourselves to the Lord rather than to others; living in complete dependence on the Lord.

Scripture encourages us, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves” (Philippians 2:3).

In a world where our barometer of what is good, what is important, what is necessary could so easily be set by commercialism and social media, we must be careful to remember the truth about God’s economy.

Nowhere in Scripture are we encouraged to be better than anyone else, or to utilize a competitive advantage to prove our value, our worth, our standing in society. Quite the opposite is true. In God’s economy the first shall be last, and the servants are considered the best leaders.

Quite the opposite is true. In God’s economy the first shall be last, and the servants are considered the best leaders. #WORDNerdWednesday @DrMBengtson Click To Tweet

In society, it is easy to agree with the mindset that we must compete to show we are the best. Yet God says what He desires is that we would value others more than ourselves.

Have you ever had a conversation with someone when they spent the entire time telling you how great they are, how accomplished they have become, and how special their achievements are? It’s exhausting, and quite honestly, can leave the one listening starting to believe that they aren’t important, don’t matter, and aren’t as worthy.

Jesus never did this. Jesus Christ provided a perfect model of humility, when He left his throne in heaven to come to earth, born from a virgin, lived among not just sinners but those who would ultimately kill him, so that He could prove to them how important God considered them.

Jesus drank from the well and spoke with a Samaritan woman. He went to Zaccheus’s (a tax collector’s) house for a meal. He healed on the Sabbath. He healed the woman with the issue of blood who was infringing on his personal space. He let the children come and sit on his lap.

Jesus demonstrated His humility by living in complete dependence on the Lord. #WORDNerdWednesday @DRMBengtson Click To Tweet

Jesus didn’t have to do any of it. He was the King of kings, and Lord of lords. Yet He humbled himself, did nothing out of selfish ambition, and cared more for the needs of others than His own comfort, status, or recognition. To take it one step further, Jesus also demonstrated His humility by “living in complete dependence on the Lord”:

“For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.”

John 6:38

For I did not speak on my own,

but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken.”

John 12:49

So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does.”

John 5:19

Truly, if we desire to be esteemed by the Father, we must take our cues about humility from His Son, and not only put others and their needs ahead of ours, but also strive to live in complete dependence on God.

Truly, if we desire to be esteemed by the Father, we must take our cues about humility from His Son. #WORDNerdWednesday @DrMBengtson Click To Tweet


Dr. Michelle Bengtson:

Author, speaker and clinical neuropsychologist, Dr. Michelle Bengtson knows pain and despair firsthand. She combines her professional expertise and personal experience with her faith to address issues surrounding medical and mental disorders. She gives practical tools, affirms worth, and offers hope to unlock healing and find relief from the pain. She is author of “Hope Prevails: Insights From a Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression” and blogs regularly on her one site: www.DrMichelleBengtson.com


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14 thoughts on “Word Nerd Wednesday – Humility

  1. Michelle, what a beautiful description of Jesus’ heart — He lived among sinners who’d ultimately kill Him “so that He could prove to them how important God considered them.” — beautifully said. He’s such a worthy model of humility. Thank you for sharing, Liz and Michelle. ((Hug))

  2. I am a wordnerd and I love this breakdown of the word humility. Compare ourselves to Jesus – no one else; that’s my biggest takeaway. Oh and I might take up Greek since I like the greek for this word. 🙂

    Stopping by from #chasingcommunity

  3. This spoke to my heart this morning. Sometimes fear causes me to want to control but God wants me to live in complete dependence on Him. When I worry I can tend to have all my thoughts centered on me and not on others. Thank you for this wonderful reminder about what humility is!

    1. Fear always wants control. But God. He reminds us not to let fear boss us around, because He is in charge! You’re so right, too. Fear focuses on the self, but faith looks to God for confidence! Blessings!

  4. Humility is a difficult word. I have found if I am not careful when I allow my pride to rise God has a way of humbling me. He has taken me to my knees. Thank you for your post.

  5. Thank you for sharing this Michelle (and Liz!). I love word studies and really appreciate your insights about humility. That word is deep and it seems God always peels back more layers as I go along. Thank you!

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