One of the attributes that God wants christian believers to most exhibit is humility. It’s humility as defined by God though, not the false humility and imitations that we find in the world and even in some christian circles. So what does God want of us?
God tells us in Micah 6:8,
Micah 6:8 “ He has showed you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?
First we learn that God shows us what is good. All God’s doings and statements will reflect what He characterizes as “good”.
Also we should note that in Micah 6:8 we see that humility is a characteristic that we humans are to bring to the table as we walk with God, and it’s not something that God imposes on us!
The greatest exponent of humility is of course, Jesus, and we can look at His life to see how He behaved under all circumstances as our exemplar.
We can also look at the life of St Paul to see how God treated someone who had a lot for which to be forgiven, as an example of what we can expect from God in our lives.
Humility is a deeply personal thing which a person imposes on him/herself and which then shines out through their behavior. It’s the attitude of putting others first. It is not obsequiousness such as exhibited by Uriah Heep in the book, David Copperfield. It is loving others as oneself, or better yet loving others as Jesus loves them! It is a fruit of our relationship with Jesus as He brings us to maturity.
It is not something that can be imposed from outside the person. Some falsely think of the Apostle Paul as someone who had humility impressed into his nature through being given a disease by God. Were God to attempt this though it would be a humiliation for St Paul since all his actions and thoughts would be under duress and not out of love.
If this were really the case, then we would have God treating Paul as less than a person and humiliating him amongst his peers. This would not be the same kind of relationship that we see between God and Jesus; it would amount to making us second class citizens in the kingdom but not sons!
Humility is considering others greater than oneself.
Humiliation is being made to feel one is lower than a snake!
God wants us to humble ourselves; and in that case He will lift you up.
1 Pet 5:6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you...
Notice that being exalted is not bad if God does it to you!
Josh 3:7 The LORD said to Joshua, “Today I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with you.
And also you should realise that being exalted is not the same as being prideful! Being prideful is to be "superior" in one’s own eyes, whereas being exalted is to be appreciated by others! So to be exalted by God is to be appreciated as one living and representing a life dedicated to God.
And this comes from being humble in the eyes and presence of God, so of necessity there is NO contradiction between humility and being exalted; where God and the true believer is concerned!
Best wishes for grace and the peace of Jesus.