What Ever Happened To: Humility?

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By Myrna Conrad

Many people mistake humility for weakness, passivity or insecurity. However, a humble person is anything but weak, passive or insecure. It takes a person with tremendous inner strength to realize and admit his or her limitations and to live free from the ever-present pull of pride and arrogance.

In today’s internet saturated society, we are told that we need to promote ourselves. Social platforms seem to encourage vanity, self-promotion and the need to be liked or followed. People today are being told they need to focus on their own identity and who they want to be. The real question should be, how much time are we willing to spend with God so that He can show us who He wants us to be?

We do not see much humility exampled by the leaders of our day. Instead we are bombarded with “look at me” and “I did this or that.” It seems that the very dangerous attitude of pride prevails in our world today. Pride focuses on “who is right,” while humility focuses on “what is right.” I don’t hear many people within our government or leadership today talking about the great things someone else has done. Instead there is a lot of time spent degrading the other person, so that they will look better. I saw a shower curtain once that had this phrase printed all over it, “It’s all about me.” That pretty much sums up a lot of people in society today.

While some think of humility as being passive, a humble person is very active in finding ways to serve others. It’s important for us to think past ourselves and accept that we are not the most important person in any given scenario. Finding ways to serve others can help us do this. The humble person knows how to give with a generous heart, yet how to receive with a thankful heart. I love this quote by Rick Warren, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less.”

A humble person has learned to admit they do not know it all. It takes a person who is secure in who they are to be able to embrace humility. A humble person is quick to admit when they are wrong and eager to learn from their mistakes. Because a humble person is able to accept their own limitations, they are better able to feel a deeper compassion for those around them.

Many more benefits stem from humility than from pride. Humility frees a person from the stress of having to be perfect or hiding their imperfections. Humility also fosters an attitude of gratitude while pride tends to lead toward entitlement.

Humble people are quick to take responsibility for their actions. A humble person accepts that they are not always in control and they are okay with that. They realize their need for other people and most importantly they realize their need for God.

Abraham Lincoln said, “We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven, but many have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of God’s redeeming and preserving grace.”

Do you want to develop an attitude of humility? Here are a few strategies:

Be Aware:
– Determine if you have the correct understanding of humility.
– Pride creeps into all of our hearts. Examine your attitude each day.
– Be aware of your insecurities so that you don’t use others to cover your own mistakes.

Be Intentional:
– Develop a heart of serving others. Find ways in your home and community to serve.
– Always be willing to take responsibility for your actions and quick to ask for help when you need it.
– Look for ways to encourage and help others rather than promoting your own self.
– Focus on what is right instead of who is right.

“Most of the shadows of life are caused by standing in our own sunshine.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson