Humility is the foremost character trait of a servant. James 1:1 says that James considered himself a bondservant of the Lord Jesus Christ. This brings up some questions:
Was James humble?
James identified himself as a servant. James did not identify himself as having a special relationship with Jesus, though as far as we know he was Jesus’ half-brother. In Jas 1:2 he refers to fellow believers as brothers, placing himself at the same level as them, not as a brother of Jesus. Personally, I think James was a no-nonsense kind of guy, privately humble, but unafraid to be bold publicly for Christ.
What did James have to say on the subject of humility?
Jas 4:10 “Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will lift you up.” In fact, the whole principle of the 4th chapter of James is humility to God, what it is, what the benefits are, and the dangers of turning from humility. We’ll spend time on this chapter when we get there, but feel free to go ahead and skim over it so you’ll be able to put James’ humility into perspective with this opening verse.
Is humility Christ-like?
Col 2:18-19 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God. Verse 18 sums it nicely. Verse 19 goes on to say this indicates the person has lost their connection to “the Head.” You have only to read the Gospels and the account of Jesus washing Peter’s feet (Jn 13:6-20) to gain a better understanding of Jesus’ humility; not to mention dying on the cross.
How does humility help us with deal one another?
Eph 4:2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love. Humility makes it possible to get along and allows us, in mutual submission to a common master, to be of a like mind and thus effective in service. After all, it was the subject of service that sparked this conversation on humility.
As for myself, I hope I am humble in this study. I hope and pray I am not like the puffed up person described in Col 2:18. I hope God blesses each and every reader. I hope together we are all growing closer to Christ. I encourage you to test yourself, test me, and in so doing test the spirits to see that they are of God (and immediately discard any which are not of God).
This post is an excerpt from my book Ask James one.