“You can never really know if you are doing well with humility as a believer, because the moment you think you are a real humble person, you’re no longer being humble.”
These were the words of a youth leader I had growing up when we were discussing humility. She said that pride proceeds a fall, and likewise God will humble you when you begin to think you have learned the art of humility.
Whether you think you are already a pretty humble person, or you think you need lots of growth in the area of humility, here are six characteristics of a humble woman of God.
She has a Biblical View of Self
Humble people do not think too highly or too lowly of themselves. The humble woman knows her strengths and gifts but recognizes that they are all from God; she knows that she does nothing in her own strength or ability, but solely by the power of God. When pride tries to sneak in and congratulate her for her good work, she reflects the glory back to God as the giver of that success.
The humble woman also sees her insufficiencies, weaknesses, and lack of skill and doesn’t condemn herself or become frustrated with herself. Instead, she sees it as an opportunity to learn, grow, and bring glory to God through her weakness (2 Corinthians 12:8-10). She doesn’t fall into the trap of self-condemnation when she discovers sin in her life, but remembers the grace of God.
She is More Concerned About Others Than Herself
A woman of humility is seen in her relationships with others. Who is more important? Who’s desires and cares does she put first? The humble woman is more concerned about those around her than herself. She does nothing from selfish ambition or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regards others as more important than herself (Philippians 2:3). She is like Christ, who,
“though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:6-8 ESV
She puts off the prideful notion that her desires, time, and cares are more important and strives to put others before herself.
She Does Not Worry
Though she is more concerned with others and puts her own concerns second, those concerns never become worries. Worry is also from pride, because it makes the claim that if we had control of the situation we could make it turn out right—that our ways are better than God’s. Worry is the prideful notion that we would be better off as the sovereign ones.
But the woman of humility humbles herself under the mighty hand of God—knowing his ways are best—so that at the proper time he may exalt her, casting all her anxieties on him, because she knows he cares for her (1 Peter 5:6-7). The humble woman trusts in God’s sovereignty, rather than seeking her own. She takes comfort knowing that God is all-powerful and working all things together for her good and his glory.
She Does Not Fear Man or People-Please
The humble woman is not a people-pleaser or a man-fearer. People-pleasers are driven by their pride that demands that others like them and think well of them. All that they do is out of a selfish desire to make themselves look good in front of others. They pretend to care more about others with extreme kindness, never saying no, and living the picture perfect life, but in reality they are only serving their lustful pride for glory from others.
But a woman driven with humility knows that no glory belongs to her. She wants to point all glory back to God. She fears God above all, so the driving factor to all that she does is obedience to him to bring glory to him. Her actions aren’t about her. If people like her that’s an added bonus, but if they don’t it won’t change what she does or why she does it. The person who fears man may choose to disobey God if that will make people like them (John 7:12-13; 12:42-43), but the humble woman fears God too much to do so.
She Admits her Need for Help and Rest
You will not see a humble woman burnt out or running on her own. She puts away the prideful idea that she can do everything herself without ever taking a break. She knows that she needs others to fill in her weaknesses with their strengths. Sure, that will take the spotlight off her, but she’s fine with that (because it was never meant to be on her alone anyway).
The humble woman of God knows that she was created to rest. She knows she is insufficient on her own and needs God and others to help her. When rest is needed, she can say no to other people’s requests. She abides in Christ (John 15:4-5) and relies on the body of believers (1 Corinthians 12:14-26).
She Knows God & Continues Learning About Him
A woman wrapped in humility is one who is changed by him. She has experienced his grace, his love, and saving power on her soul. She used to run pridefully in sin with no fear of God in her heart. She flattered herself so much that she was becoming blind to her own sins. She was calloused to God.
But thanks be to God, that he opened her eyes and humbled her to see her sin and desperate need of a Saviour. By the grace of God, she saw her path was headed straight for hell, and that she could do nothing save herself. By the power of God, she fell to her knees and confessed her sins and grave need for Christ. And she became a child of God.
From that day onward, she continues to desire God and know more about him. She knows God is too immense for her human brain to ever comprehend fully, so she will strive the rest of her days to know him better and serve him. As she grows in the knowledge of God, she is continually humbled by how great he is. And through this knowledge of him, she embodies all the other characteristics of the humble woman of God.