Is God humble? Connection between Humility and Love

Hello to everyone!
Maybe it is a stupid question, but I want to understand God (at first, just logically), and my question is very simple: has God such a quality as humility? is He humble? or He wants only us to be humble?

  1. If God is not humble and demands that quality only from us.
    a) How can we, imperfect, sinful and weak creatures, coexist with perfect, sinless and all-powerful God? He must eliminate us or by force do not let us sin, even seize our will. And so He must enslave us totally!
    b) Doesn’t love demand humility?
    c) Why does He love the humble ones? Proud person cannot love the humble one! God can only love those qualities which He has also.
    d) Wouldn’t we, by becoming more humble, move away from Him (if He Himself is not humble)?
    e) How can we love Him? How can we love a Person, Who doesn’t descend to our weakness? We can only fear Him, fear to death!

  2. If God is humble and, therefore, has absolute humility.
    a) Was that known in the Old Testament? If not, then, again, how could God demand people to love Him?
    b) How can we define humility, so that it could characterize perfectness — absolutely perfect God? What is it?
    c) What is the connection between love and humility?

Most of the questions are about the same thing: “is God humble?” and “what is humility?”

Thank you in advance!

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Yes, God is humble.

His humility can be seen at the very beginning of the OT. God gives his people, Adam and Eve, the freedom to reject Him.

In the NT, God shows His love (or humility) by taking on our human nature in the body of Jesus Christ. Jesus’ humility is especially present in the Passion.

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All virtue is sourced in God.
The connection between love and humility is the cross.

God humbled himself to share in our humanity.

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Thomas Aquinas says: “Humility cannot befit God, who has no superior, but is above all… Though the virtue of humility cannot attach to Christ in His divine nature; it may attach to Him in His human nature and His divinity renders His humility all the more praiseworthy, for the dignity of the person adds to the merit of humility; and there can be no greater dignity to a man than his being God.”

On the other hand, St. Francis of Assisi in his “The Praises of God” says: “You are love; You are wisdom; You are humility.”

(1) You assume a Divine Command Theory of reality. Why?

(a) Why would he have to enslave us? This doesn’t make sense.

(b) Among men, yes. Humility for us restrains us for claiming or attaining to things beyond what right reason should allow.

© Why are you accusing God of the sin of pride? God is magnanimous, which is not opposed to humility.

(d) No. Why? In becoming better humans, we become more like God. If humility is fit for goodness in humans, we become better similitudes of God the more good we are.

(e) You are Christian. God “descended to our weakness” when he assumed human nature. In the human nature he assumed, God had the virtue of humility.

Wesrock, I am sorry, but I think You just wanted to defend Thomas Aquinas, after reading my comment about his thoughts on this subject, without much understanding his opinion.

I think most users here who’ve seen me post would be able to tell you I already have an interest in Thomist theology. Before you even made your second post I was already reviewing Summa Theologica Second Part of the Second Part, Question 161, Article 1, on Humility to help formulate my thoughts.

If I said something doesn’t follow in your post, I meant it.

So why not expand on why you think God would have to enslave us or that he would be unable to love us.

A few of your points strike me as large logical leaps, and rather than just assume what I think your argument is, I’d rather you make your own case so I can better address your actual reasoning.

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Because I cannot understand (can anyone?) how it is possible to love someone without humbling yourself before him. I think (and many saints and theologians also think so) that humility is a mandatory state of soul to love. And if it is so only for humans (as You said) then souls of human beings have not the image and likeness of God, which is contradiction.

God is creator. Everything else is creature. There is a marked difference between humanity and God. God has no equal, while we have many. It is fitting for the creature to understand this difference and what it is and not presume status or abilities which go beyond right reason. If a human being has no humility, it’s because he misconceives his own nature as a creature.

To love is to will the good of another. The less we receive in return, the more selfless it is. And so we’re encouraged to give to those who will not pay us back, for even sinners will lend to other sinners if they expect something in return. Still, even as a human, we generally feel good about charity, and that can puff us up. Contrast this to God, who gives all being and goodness to creatures, but who does not have an ego to be boosted, who does not increase his own beatitude or magnificence in doing so. There is no temptation or risk for God in becoming puffed up, for it is contrary to his nature for that to happen, but it is something that can happen in our nature. So, humility in us (1) helps us know ourselves as not being God and (2) actually does help us become more like God insofar as it’s a virtue that helps us love more selflessly and without getting puffed up over our own good deeds, good deeds which (a) we couldn’t do without God to begin with and (b) we should not let inflate our ego.

Also, we become better similitudes of God the more we recognize and try to perfect what we are, and less so when we strive for things beyond what right reason would allow.

A human being is an image of God insofar as we are rational and that we knowledgeably and voluntarily act towars certain ends, and a Christian becomes a likeness of God by receiving God’s grace and striving to conform ourselves to Jesus Christ.

Edit: It depends on how we define humility, too. Humility, to Aquinas, is a virtue that tempers man’s creaturely appetites, appetites which are foreign to God. But insofar as our appetites are tempered by right reason, we interestingly enough become more Christlike and Godlike (while being careful here to still recognize that gulf between creature and creator).

Disclaimer: these are entirely my thoughts. I’m not attempting to provide a Catholic or Anglican position on this question.

I don’t know that the term really works for God. I think humility is important for humans because honesty is important, and if we’re honest we’ll remember that we “are but dust, and to dust we shall return.” Self-awareness for a wretched sinner is humility.

For God to be humble (as a general trait, not in reference to a specific action like His humbling Himself on the cross) would be dishonest; God is the perfect, all-knowing, all-powerful, all-good creator of the universe. For Him to be humble would be for Him to deny reality.

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Like this?

"Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.”

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I am posting again to endorse both HopkinsReb and TULIPed’s statements above.

And to reiterate, as I said before, it depends on how we think of humility. Aquinas was being very technical when he wrote of humility as a virtue, and it’s important to keep that frame of reference when reading his writings.

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When you see Jesus you see God. God is gentle, kind, patient and humble, amazingly. Not the God we conceive of by default. Jesus came to give us the true picture. And God’s desire is to transform us into His own image. Pride is the sin that opposes that.

Or this…

“Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!”

Jesus was a walking contradiction because he was both fully man and fully God. He was both glorious and humble, because as God He is glorious and as the perfect man He was humble. His example has to be parsed for what parts of it teach us about the nature of God and what parts of it teach us about the nature of man.

So, You want to endorse my opinion?

God demonstrates immense humility at the Incarnation.

Also, “humility” means to see yourself as you really are. So this means not being egotistical and also not treating yourself as if you weren’t in the image of God. A person that treats themselves like an animal is not showing humility.

Because God is God and not a creature, he behaves as God. God demonstrates his charity by giving mercy and enacting justice. If God acted as though his opinion were the same as any man’s opinions, he would not be acting truthfully, and it is impossible for God to be untruthful or deceptive.

God cannot take a new moral quality which was not typical for Him from eternity.
As it is said, “God took humanity, not humility”.

And that’s why I am not a big fan of him and, in particular, scholastic philosophy — it’s too technical.

Jesus Christ had two natures, the divine nature and human nature. Aquinas’ definition of the virtue of humility did not belong to the divine nature, but to the human nature assumed.

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