Biblical Humility: 10 Examples You Can Learn From

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Humility is an essential aspect of living according to the Bible’s teachings. Many biblical figures showed humility in their lives, and their examples provide valuable lessons for modern-day believers.

In this article, we will explore ten examples of humility in the Bible that can inspire and guide you in your faith journey.

Through these examples, you will learn about biblical humility and discover how it can transform your life by fostering a deeper sense of gratitude and compassion towards others. So if you’re looking for examples of humility in the Bible, you’re in the right place! Let’s dive in.

Joseph and His Brothers (Genesis 45:1-15)

Joseph’s story begins with his brothers’ jealousy and hatred, which prompted them to sell him into slavery. After years of hardship, Joseph rose to a position of power and became second in command to the King of Egypt.

Years later, Joseph reunites with his brothers, who do not recognize him, and instead of taking revenge, he chooses to forgive them. “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life” (Genesis 45:4-5).

Joseph’s forgiveness and reconciliation with his brothers demonstrate the power of overcoming bitterness and resentment with love and compassion. The story exemplifies how forgiveness can result in renewed relationships and bring healing and reconciliation to those involved.

“Forgiveness is the final form of love.” – Reinhold Niebuhr

joseph and his brothers

The Table of Joseph and His Brothers

ThemesLessons
Jealousy and HatredThe consequences of jealousy and hatred can lead to destruction and harm.
Suffering and PerseveranceThrough hardship and suffering, we can gain strength, resilience, and perseverance.
Forgiveness and ReconciliationForgiveness is an act of love, compassion, and a necessary step towards reconciling with others and healing relationships.

The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant

Jesus’ parable of the unmerciful servant in Matthew 18:21-35 highlights the crucial lesson of forgiving others. The story centers on a servant who owed an enormous debt to his ruler and begged for forgiveness. The ruler, taking pity on him, forgave his debt entirely.

However, the servant did not show the same mercy to one of his fellow servants who owed him a small sum of money. Instead, he had him thrown into prison until he could pay the debt.

The parable underscores the importance of showing mercy and forgiveness to others just as we have been forgiven. It encourages us to let go of judgment and resentment and to extend compassion and love. Forgiveness benefits both the forgiver and the forgiven, releasing them from the burdens of bitterness and guilt.

As Ephesians 4:32 says, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” The parable of the unmerciful servant serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of forgiveness in our lives and relationships.

The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant

“Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’” (Matthew 18:32-33)

David and Saul (1 Samuel 24; 26)

David, a young shepherd, was anointed by God to be the next king of Israel. However, Saul, the current king, became jealous of David’s popularity and made attempts to kill him. Despite this, David refused to harm Saul as he respected him as God’s chosen leader.

In 1 Samuel 24, David had the opportunity to kill Saul, who was unaware of his presence. Nevertheless, David cut only a piece of Saul’s robe, demonstrating his forgiveness and respect for Saul’s authority. In 1 Samuel 26, David spared Saul’s life again, stating that it was not his place to harm the Lord’s anointed one.

David’s actions towards Saul are powerful examples of forgiveness and respect. Even though Saul was justifiably hostile to David, David chose not to retaliate but rather forgive and respect Saul’s position as king. David’s faithfulness to God and his compassion towards his enemies, even those who wished him harm, challenge us to do the same.

David and Saul Forgiveness Example in the Bible

David and Saul

Biblical FigureActions
DavidForgave and respected Saul as God’s anointed king.
SaulBecame jealous and made attempts to kill David.

The relationship between David and Saul is a remarkable example of forgiveness and respect in the Bible. Despite the mistreatment he received from Saul, David still chose to forgive and respect Saul as God’s chosen leader. May we also learn from this biblical narrative and model forgiveness and respect in our own lives.

Stephen (Acts 7:54-60)

Stephen’s unwavering faith in Jesus Christ and his message led to his stoning by a mob. As he faced death, Stephen did not seek revenge or curse his persecutors, but instead, he forgave them.

Stephen’s forgiveness, even in the face of death, is a powerful example of the transformative power of God’s love and forgiveness that is found throughout the Bible.

Stephen’s act of forgiveness is a direct reflection of Jesus’ words from the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34) By forgiving his persecutors, Stephen demonstrated a Christ-like love that portrayed his trust and faith in God’s promises.

“Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” (Acts 7:59)

Stephen’s forgiveness reminds us that we can overcome any obstacle in life by extending forgiveness and love to those who have wronged us.

forgiveness in the face of death

Philemon and Onesimus

In the book of Philemon, Paul writes a letter to Philemon, a Christian who was a slave owner, on behalf of Onesimus, Philemon’s runaway slave.

Paul encourages Philemon to welcome Onesimus back as a fellow brother in Christ, forgiving him and accepting him, despite his past transgressions. This letter is an example of the power of forgiveness and reconciliation in the Bible.

Paul emphasizes that Onesimus is no longer just a slave but a beloved brother in Christ, and Philemon should receive him as such. He urges Philemon to act out of love and Christian brotherhood, rather than revenge or punishment.

This message of forgiveness and acceptance is crucial in a society where slavery was a prevalent and accepted practice.

“Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back forever— no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother. He is very dear to me but even dearer to you, both as a fellow man and as a brother in the Lord.” – Philemon 1:15-16

Ultimately, Philemon forgave Onesimus and accepted him back, demonstrating the power of forgiveness to reconcile broken relationships. This story serves as an example for us to forgive those who have wronged us and extend love and grace towards them, as we have been forgiven and accepted by God.

Philemon and Onesimus Forgiveness Image

The Prodigal Son’s Father (Luke 15:11-32)

The story of the Prodigal Son is one of the most well-known parables in the Bible. It tells of a young man who asks his father for his share of the inheritance and squanders it all before returning home, ashamed and remorseful. However, the focus of this parable is not the son but rather the father’s response to his return.

The father sees his son from afar and runs to embrace him, disregarding the son’s previous wrongdoing. This powerful image of the father’s divine forgiveness and unconditional love exemplifies the heart of the Gospel message. Like the prodigal son’s father, God forgives us no matter how far we may have strayed from His path.

Through this parable, we learn that forgiveness is not earned but freely given. No matter how broken or unworthy we may feel, God’s love and mercy are boundless. His grace is a gift to be received with humility and gratitude.

“The father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.'” – Luke 15:22-24

Divine forgiveness in the prodigal son's story

Examples of forgiveness in the Bible:

  • The prodigal son’s father (Luke 15:11-32)
  • Joseph and his brothers (Genesis 45:1-15)
  • Philemon and Onesimus (Philemon 1:8-21)

The prodigal son’s story is not the only example of forgiveness in the Bible. Joseph forgave his brothers who had sold him into slavery, and Philemon forgave his runaway slave, Onesimus. These stories remind us that forgiveness is not always easy, but it is necessary for healing, reconciliation, and restoration.

Jesus and Peter (John 21:15-19)

In John 18:15-18, 25-27, Peter denied knowing Jesus three times. But in John 21, after His resurrection, Jesus appeared to His disciples, including Peter. Three times, Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him, and each time, Peter replied affirmatively. Through these exchanges, Jesus restored Peter to His position as a disciple and leader in the Church.

This story serves as an example of Jesus’ forgiveness and restoration. Despite Peter’s denial, Jesus saw the potential for redemption and reinstated him. This is a powerful lesson in forgiveness, demonstrating that no matter how great our mistakes, God is always ready to forgive and restore us.

restoration

The Woman Caught in Adultery: Finding Forgiveness and Transformation in the Bible

Imagine being caught in a sin that could bring about your death. That’s what happened to the woman caught in adultery, as told in John 8:1-11. The religious leaders of the time brought her to Jesus, hoping to trap him into condemning her to death.

But Jesus responded with forgiveness. “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her,” he said. One by one, the accusers left until it was just Jesus and the woman. He asked her where her accusers were and if anyone had condemned her. When she replied no one had, he told her, “Then neither do I condemn you.”

Jesus’ act of forgiveness gave the woman a chance to transform her life. He said to her, “Go now and leave your life of sin.” This encounter changed her life forever.

Like the woman caught in adultery, you too can find forgiveness and transformation in the Bible. No matter what mistakes you have made or sins you have committed, forgiveness is available through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Through faith in him, you can find new life and transformation.

Remember the example of the woman caught in adultery and the forgiveness Jesus offered her. You too can experience the same forgiveness and transformation through faith in him.

So if you are struggling with guilt or shame, turn to Jesus. Allow his forgiveness and love to transform your life and give you a new start. His forgiveness is available to all who seek it, and it can truly change your life.

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Allan Wilson is the creator of the Scriptural Thinking Affirmations Package. Featuring over 200 minutes of mp3 audio Bible affirmations complete with background music. The package comes with the original affirmations PDF ebook and many bonus affirmation Bible studies as well. The affirmations are designed to help you call to remembrance all of the wonderful benefits of being in Christ and the marvelous privilege of being a child of God.