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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Humility

Have you ever considered the virtue of humility? Not to be confused with humiliation (which is done to you), humility is what you do to yourself. Or maybe it is what you do for yourself. The Bible is replete with scenarios where God asks us to "humble ourselves" before Him, before others, etc.

Humility is said to be the foundation of spirituality ... and inferior only to faith. I think true humility probably consists of at least three things:
  1. Submission to God and legitimate authority - parents, teachers, bosses, supervisors, church leaders, government (and its regulations).

  2. Sincere recognition of the virtues and talents that others possess - without jealousy or resentment.

  3. Recognition of your own limited talents, ability or authority - without being self-deprecating or engaging in self-pity or possessing low self-esteem.
So how do you know if you have this virtue of humility? How do you develop humility in yourself? If you pray for humility - how would God answer that prayer?

I try to be a humble person. But there's this thing about humility. It seems that when you think you have it ... then you don't.

So you can practice your submission to God. And you can obey the authorities in your life. You can really work to appreciate the strengths of others. And you can try to really carry an honest assessment of your own strengths and weaknesses. But even though humility seems to be comprised of those things --- practicing those things doesn't bring you humility.

No, it seems that it is much easier to do those positive things than it is to do them without jealousy, low self-esteem, or resentment. It is hard for me to appreciate your strengths and qualities ... without wanting them myself.

It has been said that pride opposes humility. But I think humility has an even greater opponent. Selfishness and self-centeredness work together to - in my mind - form the greatest opposition to accomplishing true humility in one's life.

And there you have it - humility struggling to break free of self. It is the desire of our Father. Can it really be my desire as well?

1 comment:

  1. I see selfishness and self-centeredness stemming from pride. God has been working on me heavily in this area, humbling me before Him. I pray that He develops true humility in me.

    Rick

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