…. they were unschooled, ordinary men …. they had been with Jesus …. the crippled man healed standing with them – Acts 4:13,14

Wisdom & Humility; … being teachable

The Bible links wisdom with humility


Proverbs 16:20 (NIV)
Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers
    and blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord.

Psalm 25:9,10 (ESV)
He leads the humble    in what is right,
    and teaches the humble    his way.
10 All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness,
    for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.

Proverbs 11:2 (NIV)
When pride comes, then comes disgrace,
but with humility comes wisdom.

James 3:13 (NIV)
Who is wise and understanding among you?
Let them show it by their good life,
by deeds done in the
that comes from wisdom.

1 Corinthians 8:1 (NIV)
… knowledge puffs up while love builds up.

This is what the Lord said about Moses,
Now Moses was a very humble man,
more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.

 With him I speak face to face, …  (Numbers 12:3,8 NIV)

Moses received God’s wisdom to lead Israel, …
God spoke to him face to face

A wise person is a humble person

When God commended Moses as more humble than anyone else in Numbers 12,
his leadership was being challenged by those most closest to him, who served alongside him.
Moses humbly submitted the matter to the Lord … he interceded for those who challenged him (Numbers 12:13), … the Lord vindicated Moses.

Moses’ security and self worth was whole-heartedly in the Lord,


nothing to prove, nothing to lose,
no one to impress, no loss of face.
always, … room to improve

Humility is not humiliation.
God humbles us, … not humiliate us,

He loves us
& desires us to draw closer to Him.

The prodigal son was humbled in the faraway country,
… when he came to his senses,
he ran back to the Father’s arms,
… the Father forgave and graciously restored the son.

Proverbs 29:11 (NIV)
A fool always loses his temper,

But a wise man holds it back.

A humble & wise person controls his emotions,
knowing God is in control.
Step aside … & let God step in.

Proverbs 15:31 (NIV)
Whoever heeds life-giving correction
    will be at home among the wise.

Proverbs 9:8-10 (NIV)
Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you;

       rebuke the wise    and they will love you.
Instruct the wise    and they will be wiser still;
       teach the righteous    and they will add to their learning.
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
       and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Rebuke the wise and they will love you
humility listens, … is not defensive,
welcomes correction, … improvement.

Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still;
A humble heart grows in wisdom,
by heeding to instruction & correction,
grows in the fear of the Lord and knowledge of the Holy One.

Being open to learn, being teachable.

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

James 1:5 (NIV)
If any of you lacks wisdom,
you should ask God,
who gives generously
to all without finding fault,
and it will be given to you.

Wisdom comes from a prayerful heart seeking God, dependent on Him, walking righteously, humbly,
… open to His Word and guidance.

Humility begins by daily humbling ourselves before the Lord in prayer,
asking Him for His wisdom, … open to learn from the Lord.

Philippians 2:3 (NLT)
Don’t be selfish;

don’t try to impress others.
Be humble,

thinking of others as better than yourselves.

Romans 12:16(NLT)
Live in harmony with each other.
Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people.
And don’t think you know it all!

Humility expresses in our attitude towards others,
thinking of others as better than ourselves,
not proud,
enjoying the company of ordinary people
and honest to admit we don’t know it all;
being open to learn from others, being teachable.
We can learn from anyone and everyone … even the smallest child.

“Some of the best advice I’ve had comes from junior officers and enlisted men.”
—  Admiral Chester W. Nimitz

One way to express humility is to
Submit to one another
out of reverence for Christ.

submitting to one another in the fear of God
Ephesians 5:21 (NASB, NKJV)

This helps to safeguard ourselves from being deceived,
and self-deception;
as we listen to others pointing out truth to us,
or things we have overlooked.

Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you;

       rebuke the wise    and they will love you.
Instruct the wise    and they will be wiser still;
       teach the righteous    and they will add to their learning.

10 The fear of the Lord
is the beginning of wisdom,

       and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
Proverbs 9:8-10 (NIV)

An example:  Apollos

Acts 18:24-26 (NASB)
24 Now a Jew named Apollos, an Alexandrian by birth,
an eloquent man, came to Ephesus;
and he was mighty in the Scriptures.

25 This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit,
he was speaking and teaching accurately the things concerning Jesus,
being acquainted only with the baptism of John;

26 and he began to speak out boldly in the synagogue.

But when Priscilla and Aquila heard him,
they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.

Apollos was a learned man, a Jew.
He was open and humble to learn the way of God more accurately from Priscilla and Aquila, a Gentile woman and man.

While sharing the parable of the sower, seed and soil,
Jesus described being teachable, … & developing a teachable heart.
In this parable, all 4 types of soil heard the same seed, the Word.

20 And those are the ones on whom seed was sown on the good soil;
and they hear the word

and accept it
and bear fruit, thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.”

 23 If anyone has ears to hear,
let him hear.”

24 And He was saying to them,
Take care what you listen to.

By your standard of measure
it will be measured to you;
more will be given you besides.

25 For whoever has,
to him more shall be given;

whoever does not have,

even what he has shall be taken away from him.”
Mark 4:20-25 (NASB)

Luke’s record of verse 24, 25

18 So take care how you listen
for whoever has, to him more shall be given; and whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has shall be taken away from him.”
Luke 8:18 (NASB)

Therefore, … Jesus advises us to take care, take heed, pay attention (NASB, NKJV, NLT)

what we listen to,
and   how we listen

Today we are faced with endless streams of information from social media, books, messaging, youtube, sermons, bible studies, seminars, conferences, etc, ….

What should we listen to?
the Truth of God’s word

( else, ‘garbage in, garbage out’)

how we listen
the extent of fruit in our lives is dependent on
the extent we are open to receive God’s word
& live out God’s word;
i.e. paradigm shift to God’s kingdom mindset according to His word.

Paul wrote,
… I don’t mind writing these things over and over to you,
as I know it keeps you safe
Philippians 3:1 (Voice)

Let’s also not tire of listening afresh again & again,
passages in the word of God which we are familiar with,
as I know it keeps you safe.

Solomon observation on a teachable attitude:

A poor yet wise lad
is better than

an old and foolish king
who no longer knows how to receive instruction.

no longer willing
to listen to advice

Ecclesiastes 4:13 (NASB, CJB)

(emperor’s new clothes)

pride, … ‘know it all’, …  seniority, … hierarchical titles,
qualifications, degrees,  … status,
independent spirit,
… are hindrances to good listening,
being humble & teachable,
& growing wise.

Walk with the wise
and become wise,

    for a companion of fools suffers harm.
Proverbs 13:20 (NIV)

Proverbs 11:15 (ERV)
Fools always think their own way is best,
but wise people listen to what others tell them.

Proverbs 12:15 (NIV)
The way of fools seems right to them,
    but the wise listen to advice.

Proverbs 17:28(NLT)
Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent;
    with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent

A good, discerning listener becomes wise.

knowledge puffs up .. (1 Corinthians 8:1)
Listening  to others, learning from others, heeding counsel/advice, being open,
rather than

an attitude of  ‘know it all’ or ‘I already know
or ‘I’m more qualified/experienced/successful/older than you
or ‘what do you know?’
or ‘not invented here
or cultural, ethnicity pride, … or group/status pride (in any form)

Being flexible, open to suggestions and improvements,
open to discuss,
with the great, … as well as the young.

an old dog who learns new tricks’

At times, its wise to agree to disagree.
Disagree respectfully, humbly, … without being disagreeable.

‘like eating fish, … consume the flesh,
… discard the bones’

Rather than taking opposing views personally,
… turn them into learning & sharing moments.

In discussions, … humility listens, notes,
… is not defensive,
… desires to … listen, discern, … asks questions, clarifies,
learn & improve.

 Timothy 2:24-26 (NIV)
24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome
but must be kind to everyone,
able to teach,
not resentful.

25 Opponents must be gently instructed,
in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth,
26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

Jesus was not quarrelsome, kind to everyone, not resentful.
Jesus patiently taught, explained and demonstrated what He meant, … even to the religious leaders who wanted to kill Him.

Patiently, gently instruct those with opposing views.
Teach, persuade, influence, demonstrate, … rather than preach from afar.

Numbers 22:28 (NKJV)
 Then the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey,
and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?”

sometimes … God sends a female donkey to teach us 🙂
Our God has a great sense of humor 🙂

Proverbs 13:20 (NIV)
He who walks with wise men will be wise,

But the companion of fools will suffer harm.

Who we hang out with makes a difference;
… Balaam was with the wrong crowd.

Humility also knows when to keep one’s mouth shut.
… do not throw your pearls before swine …
Matthew 7:6 (NASB)

Proverbs 12:18 (NOG, NIV)
Careless words stab like a sword,
    but the words of wise people bring healing.

The words of the reckless pierce like swords,
    but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

May the Lord grant us the tongue of the wise that brings healing,
a humble reconciling peacemaker.

Matthew 5:9 (NIV)
Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.

What is Godly wisdom like?

James 3:17,18 (NIV);    James 3:17 (NASB, MSG)
But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.

18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, accommodating, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial, and not hypocritical.

Real wisdom, God’s wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced.

Hence, .. the fruit of Godly wisdom is Godly character
— pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere, ..  peacemakers
(quite different from the conventional wisdom of the world)

James 3:13 (NIV)
Who is wise and understanding among you?
Let them show it by their good life,
by deeds done in the
that comes from wisdom.

Micah 6:8 (NASB, MSG)
He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God?

But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do,
    what God is looking for in men and women.
It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor,
    be compassionate and loyal in your love,
And don’t take yourself too seriously—
    take God seriously.

Humility in learning, relating with others, through deeds,
and most importantly humility before the Lord

John the Baptist said
must become greater and greater,
and I must become less and less.”
John 3:30 (NLT)

Jesus’ invitation,

Matthew 11:29 (NIV)
Take my yoke upon you
and learn from me,
for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.

The Lord always gives grace to the humble.

1 Peter 5:5,6 (NIV)
all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another,
for God is opposed to the proud,
but gives grace to the humble

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God,
that He may exalt you at the proper time

Matthew 23:9-12 (NASB)
Do not call anyone on earth your father;
for One is your Father, He who is in heaven.

10 Do not be called leaders;
for One is your Leader, that is, Christ.

11 But the greatest among you
shall be your servant.

12 Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled;
and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted

Jesus described a wise man as,

Matthew 7:24 (NIV)
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine
and puts them into practice is like
a wise man who built his house on the rock.

one who puts His words into practice.

At the heart of God’s wisdom is

Romans 12:1 (NIV)
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

James 1:22 (NIV)
22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.

Jesus said,
“The student is not above the teacher,
but everyone who is fully trained
will be like their teacher.”
Luke 6:40 (NIV)

Whenever we swell with pride, …. instead of swallowing our pride,
we run the risk of .. bursting with pride.

Let’s prayerfully guard our heart.
Above all else, guard your heart,
    for everything you do flows from it. (Proverbs 4:23 NIV)

Pride in one’s heart can in time, silently grow into
… self-righteousness … unbelief … self-deception,
deeds impacting others.

Obadiah 1:3 (NIV)
The pride of your heart has deceived you, …

Psalm 36:2 (NIV, NLT)
In their own eyes they flatter themselves
    too much to detect or hate their sin.

In their blind conceit,
    they cannot see how wicked they really are.

Psalm 10:2, 56:2 (NIV)
In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak,
    who are caught in the schemes he devises.

My adversaries pursue me all day long;
    in their pride many are attacking me.

Daniel 5:20 (NIV)
But when Nebuchadnezzar’s heart became arrogant
and hardened with pride,
he was deposed from his royal throne and stripped of his glory.

Psalm 10:4 (NIV)
In his pride the wicked man does not seek him;
    in all his thoughts there is no room for God.

Luke 18:9 (NIV)
To some who were confident of their own righteousness
and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable:

10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God.

For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled,
and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Further reading:
Knowledge, Understanding, Wisdom in the Bible, what did Jesus mean? (click here)

  Discipling | Serving Quietly

by 林弟兄, bro Lim
Apr 6, 2015

Copyright © 林弟兄 bro Lim, Laymanointing, 2014-2016 – All Rights Reserved
Creative Commons License





This entry was posted on April 6, 2015 by in Daily Rice, Discipling, Ministry, Serving Quietly.

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