2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love,
Verses two and three list five virtues or attitudes behind Christian unity.
2 with [accompanying] all lowliness [humility]
“Lowliness” is humility. This compound word comes from two words: to think and with lowliness of attitude. Humility is the opposite of pride. Pride destroys unity. Genuine humility orients Godward; it is a vertical virtue.
Pride was the first sin of Satan—his attempt to exalt himself above almighty God and even claim to be God (Ezek 28:11-19).
Pr 16: 18 Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.
Note the word “all.” The idea is that we are not to have some lowliness but “all” humility. “All” indicates the strong necessity of these virtues and the variety of different kinds of humility. “All” leaves no room for “almost all.”
Humility is primarily Godward.
There is a tendency to be proud of place, face, and race. We can be proud of our success, education, or appearance. However, the biblical view is to let others praise us (Pr 27:2).
Much sin finds its source in pride. However, humility shows us for what we truly are because it reveals who God is.
Humility allows for unity among believers. Comparison of self with others creates problems (2 Co 10:12). To minimize the qualities of others and maximize our qualities distorts reality.
Once we get a clear picture of our own unworthiness, it puts self in perspective. Humility allows us to see ourselves in an unembellished way. Humility involves a proper perspective on oneself that rests on our consciousness of our guilt. This will not allow us to exercise self-exaltation.
Having said that, neither is humility some pathetic excuse for humanity. Humility does not mean that people can walk all over us without redress. It does not mean that we are to grovel under others. It is the willingness to accept God’s sovereignty over whatever circumstance that may come our way. We are not our own authority.