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Welcoming the Uncomfortable Work of God


How do I humble myself?

Humility, according to the Bible, is not something we can just up and do. Both the negative and positive examples of Scripture—from Pharaoh to Rehoboam, from Josiah to Ahab, from Hezekiah to Manasseh, and even to Christ himself—teach us that humility first comes from the hand of God. He initiates the humbling of his creatures. And once he has, the question confronts us: Will you receive it? Will you humble yourself in response to his humbling hand, or will you kick against him?

This concise, accessible study of Scripture’s humble-self language uncovers two surprising lessons about the pursuit of humility in the Christian—both what we cannot do and also what steps we can take.


  • In Humbled, Mathis has once again given the church a resource that not only engages the heart and mind, but is also clearly purposed to equip our hands for daily Christian living. This work feels as timely as it does timeless. David is faithful to let the word of God do the heavy lifting as he clarifies, at times with great nuance, the purpose and process behind the command to ‘humble yourself.’ With every passing chapter, I felt a growing excitement at the blessing that could reach my own heart, home, and city if God were to do this kind of Humbled work in me. Matt Bradner, Staff Development, Campus Outreach
  • This book offers sweet relief for those being humbled and a clear path of preparation for those in more clement seasons. Mathis weaves insights from the stories of kings in the Bible, culminating in the humility of the King of kings. This powerful book would make an excellent study for Sunday school, small groups, or leadership teams. Gerrit Scott Dawson, Pastor, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Biblical, insightful, and convicting, Humbled is a fresh reminder to receive the humbling of God as a call to become more Christlike. In our world of self-promotion, Mathis challenges us to heed the lessons of humility woven throughout Scripture and welcome the uncomfortable work of God who brings all things for our good and His glory. Vaneetha Rendall Risner, Regular Contributor
  • David Mathis serves us all by pointing us to a topic we can’t think too much about. I give much of my time to leading conversations about race and racism. The number one thing I wish we all had more of in the conversation is humility. Mathis reminds us that God is the One who humbles us. Read this book to learn how you should respond to His merciful, humbling hand—however heavy it may seem. Isaac Adams, Pastor, Washington, DC
  • Humbled is a small but mighty book, packed with biblical wisdom and countercultural insight. Mathis is incisive, eloquent, and rigorously faithful to Scripture. I can’t recommend this book enough, especially to my fellow young Christians. Jaquelle Crowe
  • Although humility is a quality many of us admire, very few of us understand its significance or desire to pursue it personally. In Humbled, David Mathis has contributed a work that I believe will unlock an essential teaching of Scripture that God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. I am so grateful for how David uses Scripture faithfully to show us why humility is to be desired, and yet he is realistic with the difficult work that must take place to produce humility in our hearts. It is truly a work that is initiated by God but one that we participate in. David gives practical advice on how to position ourselves for this deep work of God in our lives and reminds us that humility is at the heart of the gospel. Afshin Ziafat, Pastor, Frisco, Texas
  • The Bible’s call to humility is clear and yet few of us pursue it with the diligence of which the Bible speaks. What David Mathis has given us in this book is a brief, clear, sober, and most importantly humble call for the pursuit of the uniquely human virtue of humility to the glory of God. Humility does not come naturally. Nothing that glorifies Christ ever does. David Mathis reminds us that it is the pleasure of the Holy Spirit to direct us in humility and thus make us more like Christ, who amazingly humbled himself. This is a quick read, yet long-lasting and encouraging in its impact. Anthony Carter
  • Humility is a counter-intuitive invitation to holy bliss and human flourishing—to receive with gratitude our creatureliness and to live so that the glory of God shines through us. This book from David Mathis is a powerful and concise treatment of an indispensable virtue. Trevin Wax, Vice President of Research and Resource Development, North American Mission Board
  • David is once again a very reliable guide. He is careful with Scripture and always clear and pastoral. In this short book, he takes an important piece of humility ‘humble yourself’—and lets us delight in being a little smaller and a little less special. Ed Welch, Counselor, CCEF
  • Do you ever tune out when the doctor reminds you to eat a healthy diet and maintain an exercise program? You know you need to do those things, but perhaps what you are lacking is a timely or compelling why to fuel your motivation. If this is how you regard the scriptural exhortation to humble yourself, the pages that follow will help you tune in to many timely and compelling whys. Humbled will give you a new perspective of the myriad of ways God works in your life. Gloria Furman