There are many attitudes that Jesus intended for His church to have, but there is none more personal than the attitude of humility. The church is not the building, but the people. Therefore, the attitude of the church must be a collection of the attitudes of the people who make up the church. Together, the church can decide to be generous, and give as it should. Together, the church can study the Bible and teach others about Jesus and the Gospel. However, it is the individuals in the church who must decide to be humble.
Humility is an important theme throughout the Bible. In the Old Testament, the book of Proverbs repeatedly encourages us to be humble. Sometimes the book of Proverbs directly teaches us about humility. In Proverbs 15:33, the Bible says that “before honor is humility.” In other words, before you can have honor, you must have humility. Another proverb states: “By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches and honor and life” (22:4). That proverb is very direct, but many times in the book of Proverbs, humility is taught indirectly when it teaches us about pride (the opposite of humility). For example, Proverbs 8:13 states that God hates pride. Since we do not want God to hate what we do, we should avoid being prideful. The Old Testament definitely teaches us about humility, but so does the New Testament.
In the New Testament, Jesus once said: “Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:4). The kingdom of heaven that Jesus was discussing is the church. So then, just by reading one verse we learn that Jesus wanted His church to be humble.
Now that we know that the church should be humble, what is humility? A good definition of humility is found in Philippians 2:3: “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.” Basically, we are humble when we consider others better than ourselves, and do everything without selfishness or pride.
There is no doubt that the church as a whole should be humble, but this can only be achieved when every individual in the church chooses to be humble.