If there’s anything I’m proud of, it’s my humility.
Har-har-har. Yes, I’ll be here all week.
Oh. You’ve heard that one before? No matter. I’ll have to think of something else that will make you laugh off that chair you’re presently sitting on. Meanwhile, I’ve been thinking of this thing called humility. It’s one of those virtues that one thinks they have until something happens that exposes the truth to self. In my case, this happens way too often. I’ll think I’ve grown in humility (i.e. having less pride), then I’ll have an encounter that’ll show me that I still have quite a ways to go. Turns out that pride is suuuch an easy go-to. We’ve relied on it all our lives, and it’s even been societally applauded, being renamed and misused in such terms as “having self-worth”. If that were true, it seems many of us these days have too much of “a good thing”. I don’t think the pride I (and most of us) exhibit has anything to do with having self-worth, but in lifting ourselves higher than people we internally consider beneath us. That’s trying to be two steps above another.
I feel like God has been calling me to go yet higher in this regard. Then, I came across a writer who exposed it to me in a super powerful way. Here’s a nice quote: “It is only our exaggerated sense of self-righteousness that prevents us from looking honestly at ourselves” (Frangipane). That was enough to pause me for a whole week. I’ve decided that it’s time to start looking super honestly at myself. This plays out in situations in which I’m perhaps criticized, and not in such a nice, loving way. The natural thing is to lash out, defend my “honor”, stand up for myself because, after all, even if it is true, why didn’t they say it nicely? But I’m learning that true honor, before Whom it counts, calls for me to listen to the criticism and truly look again at myself. It is likely that there is some truth in what is said. Above all, that is the path to true growth.
Again, Frangipane puts it in just about the best way: “Satan fears virtue. He is terrified of humility; he hates it. He sees a humble person and it sends chills down his back. His hair stands up when Christians kneel down, for humility is the surrender of the soul to God.” Whew! Simply incredible.
The most poignant example of humility is Jesus Himself. Did zero things wrong, was falsely accused, could easily have defended Himself and been right, but as Scriptures say, “committed Himself to Him (God) who judges righteously” (see 1 Pet. 2:23). Another way this same sentence is put is this: “He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly.”
I have a long way to go indeed. I’ll get there…someday. 🙂
How’s about you? What’s your humble journey been like?
2 thoughts on “Virtuous humility”
Such a deep subject, and hard to comment on.
Humility is the trait I admire most in those who truly claim hold to it.
Humility is something I pray a great deal for,
but like you Uche, just when I think I’m gaining ground, some thing or circumstance pops up to show me just how lacking in am.
Humility can only come when you let go and let God!
Submission to His will, and letting our own agenda go. This is an incredibly hard task.
So many of us claim to submitting, but, when circumstances Arise to where something God throws at me interrupts my plans, do I submit? Or, do I continue on with my own agenda?
The ability to take an “about face” and go toward what God has asked you to do, and do it willingly, joyfully and without pouting about it, that is when you are truly showing humility.
There are so many forms of humility that we could elaborate to no avail.
Humbling yourself to take a verbal beating without showing signs of retaliation such as voicing back or any negative facial or bodily expression is another form. As long as you know who you are in Christ, it doesn’t matter what anyone throws at you. To humbly resist retaliation only shows that Christ truly lives in you.
Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God and He will lift you up in due time. 1 Peter 5:6
This is what I strive for.
I trust God will finish the work He has started in us!
What an incredibly insightful comment. Wow. But I’d never before considered humility as tied to obedience to God. That’s food for thought for me…