Humility in ethics is freedom from pride and arrogance; humbleness of mind; a modest estimate of one’s own worth. In theology, humility consists in lowliness of mind; a deep sense of one’s own unworthiness in the sight of God, self-abasement, penitence for sin, and submission to the divine will.Webster’s American Dictionary
  Humility is the quality or state of being humble, which is freedom from pride or arrogance.Merriam-Webster Dictionary
  To be humble is marked by meekness or modesty in behavior, attitude, or spirit; not arrogant or prideful: Showing deferential or submissive respect; unpretentious.American Heritage Dictionary

“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.”—Proverbs 11:2.

Before honor is humility.—Proverbs 15:33. Humility, a soul virtue, is nonresistance in its purest expression, and it comes before honor. You cannot have real faith without humility, and you cannot reach humility until you give up self.

Edna Lister on Humility

Humility through devotion, and watchfulness lest you stumble are the actions of service.—Edna Lister, Faith Reconsidered, March 31, 1935.

Just as pride is death to humility, so is humility the death of pride.—Edna Lister, April 3, 1935.

Humility is to see the truth in self. First you must face the old self, and conquer it; then you must see perfection in your new being.—Edna Lister, Your Asset Column, February 16, 1936.

The world’s adulation is always dangerous. Act from such deep humility that the world cannot take it from you, for only love, understanding, praise and gratitude can possibly balance you.—Edna Lister, March 9, 1939.y

Always, your humility of heart must exceed the exaltation of the glory of your soul.—Edna Lister, The Great Challenge, March 8, 1942.

Humility accepts everything as a gift.—Edna Lister, Seven Degrees, April 17, 1942.y

Unless you remain in a state of prayer and humility, God may need to use a hatpin to deflate you.—Edna Lister, January 22, 1945.

True humility is completely willing surrender to be ready for the Father’s use in any capacity, in any way, anywhere, anytime.—Edna Lister, December 4, 1950.

Some folks fear that others will think their enthusiasm is egotistical so they cover their faith with false humility, which breeds egotism! False humility is nothing but a cover-up for self-centered sympathy. Replace the false humility with compassion and you will not need to disguise it because compassion is real and leaves no room for the false. If you sympathize with self, you slip from your ideals, creating false humility, which leads to humiliation.—Edna Lister, To Seek the Light, June 10, 1951.

The humility of acceptance of being led by the Good Shepherd in Light is among the greatest of virtues.—Edna Lister, June 25, 1951.

Humility is the pure essence of divine Mother Love, the graciousness and loveliness of the Christ Spirit expressing as selfless compassion, which is the only humility acceptable before God.—Edna Lister, November 12, 1951.

Don’t kid yourself by being humble on the outside and hurt or angry inside. Such false humbleness is not humility, which is the essence of God’s Love in action.—Edna Lister, Prove Me Now, November 18, 1951.

False humility wipes out any chance for ascension.—Edna Lister, Seven Churches, November 25, 1952.

Be conscious of your soul’s noble birth, not in self-congratulation but in soul humility of your sanctified purpose for being here.—Edna Lister, June 3, 1953.

The reward of humility is an open mind.—Edna Lister, Success Through Prayer, July 7, 1953.

True humility is a state of grace, where having become law, you are used by love and the glory of faith, with no thought of self.—Edna Lister, Promises Are Keys, May 29, 1955.

By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honor, and life.—Proverbs 22:4 means that riches, honor and life are the rewards of humility and fear of the Lord. You must open your mind to see and to accept. Humility loves the law, and dares to listen, to change and to declare everything good. Humility sees Light moving into dark places. Humility dares to live up, let go of the past, to push up hard enough without dragging the past along too.
  Humility is that soul quality that causes you to lift a person and put him on a pedestal so his soul shines. One who expresses this humility is so absorbed and enfolded in the Love of God that nothing of self is left. Humility is the badge of royal family membership, the compassion of the Master, the trademark of the Elect on earth.—Edna Lister, Heavenly Manna, August 14, 1955.

There are two types of humility, false and true. The first is conscious of self. False humility is grovelingly humble and protests, Oh, I couldn’t do that! True humility is the soul kneeling before God as its bondsman in complete love and devotion. True humility never knows it is good or humble.—Edna Lister, The Bond of Spirit, October 6, 1957.

The law of humility is God’s Wisdom and Love in perfect balance as compassion.—Edna Lister, The Pioneering Mystic, May 5, 1959.

If you have a high idea of your humility, you have pride instead.—Edna Lister, Desire Is Your Glory, June 14, 1959.

The terms humility and acceptance are synonymous, and create a royal crown when you concede to them perfectly. Accept everything that comes as good, no matter how dark or unclean it appears. That is humility.—Edna Lister, Imagination Is Your Crown, June 21, 1959.

An attitude of true humility is one of the greatest keys to unlocking the symbolism of the Way of Christ. Humility is wisdom and love in perfect balance within the soul, going forth as compassion to the world. A lack of humility is the self taking credit from God.—Edna Lister, What Is Symbolism? October 6, 1959.

Humility is the graciousness of acceptance. To live in humility is to live with an open mind, accepting law.—Edna Lister, February 23, 1960.

Your lack of humility creates the many occasions for your humiliation.—Edna Lister, April 22, 1960.

By assuming the Master’s attitudes, mastery exalts you into humility.—Edna Lister, Integrity, Your Great Anchor, April 22, 1962.

To claim I am humble lowers your vibration and sets you in a lonely corner. To dwell on your humility reduces the full glory of the Holy Spirit to a trickle.—Edna Lister, April 27, 1962.

Wipe the word humility from your consciousness, and replace it with compassionate graciousness.—Edna Lister, December 9, 1962.

True humility consists of complete surrender of the self to be ruled by the soul.—Edna Lister, Five Keys of the Kingdom, 1964.

Humility is a quality of the listening soul.—Edna Lister, May 16, 1967.

Humility is nonresistance in its purest expression, and it comes before honor. You cannot have real faith without humility, and you cannot reach humility until you give up self.—Edna Lister, November 24, 1969.

The Christed humility, which infuses us through ascension, enfolds us in an all-powerful Godlike simplicity of expression.—Edna Lister, November 8, 1970.

Top ↑

Humility in the New Testament

Whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.—Matthew 23:12

Whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.—Luke 14:11 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.—Romans 12:3

Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering.—Colossians 3:12

God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.—James 4:6

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.—James 4:10

Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. —Philippians 2:3-11

Be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.—1 Peter 5:5-6

Top ↑

Humility in the Old Testament

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.—2 Chronicles 7:14

He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?—Micah 6:8

The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.—Proverbs 15:33

When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.—Proverbs 11:2

By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life.—Proverbs 22:4

Top ↑

The greater you are, the more humble yourself, and you shall find favor before the Lord.—Wisdom of Ben Sirach 3:18.

Never trust an enemy: for as iron rusts, so is his wickedness. Though he humble himself, yet take good heed and beware of him, and you shall be to him as if you had wiped a looking glass, and you shalt know that his rust has not been altogether wiped away.—Wisdom of Ben Sirach 12:10-11

Top ↑

Edna Miriam Lister
The original Pioneering Mystic,
Christian Platonist philosopher, American Idealist, Founder, Society of the Universal Living Christ, minister, teacher, author, wife, and mother.

Edna Lister

Etymology of humility: Latin humilitatem (nom. humilitas) "lowness, insignificance."

Etymology of humble: Latin humilis, "lowly, humble," literally "on the ground," from humus, "earth."

Humility is a soul virtue.


American Heritage Dictionary, 5th ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016. ISBN 9780544454453.

Harper, Douglas. Online Etymology Dictionary, 2024.

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV).

Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

Webster, Noah. "Humility," Webster’s American Dictionary of the English Language. New York: S. Converse, 1828.

Related Topic

See Simplicity