The Bible teaches us that "God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble." (James 4:6) and "Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord and He will exalt you." (James 4:10).
Humility is a characteristic which God requires us to have, but many of us misunderstand exactly what it is. Nearly all of us know or have known someone who makes such a big deal out of being humble that it is quite unpleasant to be around them at all. They go on and on about how they are unattractive or lack ability or are not very smart and so forth. In fact, it is ironic that they seem almost proud to be more humble than you are! It is certainly an odd thing when one brags about his humility!
Well, that pitiful attitude is not truly humility at all, as far as the Bible is concerned. Did you know that humility does not involve a denial of one's God-given abilities at all? The Bible's greatest heroes of faith were humble men and women even though they were leaders of outstanding ability and accomplishment.
You see, when the Bible encourages us to be humble, it means for us to simply recognize God's right to rule in our hearts and lives and to use our gifts to bring Him glory. It also means that we do not consider ourselves to be "better" than our fellow human beings knowing that God loves us all and that Jesus died for us all. So, while we do not gloat over our abilities, we don't deny them and bury them either. We let our lights shine and direct the glory to God (Matthew 5:16).
By Jon W. Quinn
From Expository Files 10.3; March, 2003