Humility is one of those traits that is so out there on the spectrum of human emotion and character. It goes against so much of what we have come to know about being a growing, successful person. Especially when we look at culture, humility seems to only be used as a tool to look better, which is one of the greatest flips that can be done.
This is a matter of ethics; how we, ourselves, treat others. Humility is one of those virtues that scales. It works in a marriage between two people. It works at your job. It works in society. It scales.
Additionally, it is one of the founding principles of the Christian faith. Humility is what gets us out of our heads and into the lives of other people. We can’t adequately love other people if all we want is to have them know how great we are at their expense.
A dictionary would say that humility is a lowly-sense of yourself, especially having the perspective of there being other people outside of yourself. However, I would be tempted to say that it is more like the knowing the existence of our own shortfalls and weak spots in life when we are made aware of other peoples.
Why this distinction about Humility?
I hold this distinction because it brings about the outcomes you would hope to have happened to you if someone was given a situation where they could exercise humility in from of you or
If someone sees something ugly, wrong, not fully developed, or pitiful in you, you would hope that them exercising humility would bring to bear the honesty of the greater situation. Being, that they would honestly look at all their junk in their life, which makes them look at you more like a human they have something in common with rather than someone to dominate.
Time needed: 365 days.
How do I show humility?
- Realize, now, that you are imperfect and that whatever you see in other people’s lives, at least in one way or another, reflects something in your life.
This is a realization that you need to have now. You aren’t better than anyone else. You aren’t special. We are all human, and that puts us all at the same level of needing a savior.
- Explore the areas you aren’t competent in and where your weaknesses are (both skills and character flaws).
Getting out a pen and paper would be good for this step. Write down everything that isn’t consistent in your life. There are things in our lives that we are really proud of and that we identify as, but as we get closer to who we think we are and what we tell other people, we start to see those areas where we are projecting.
We project our ideal selves onto our descriptions. Search for those projections. Meet them. And then get real with yourself.
Create a plan that lets you be more honest about who you are. Don’t idealize yourself.
- Don’t be so bothered by other people’s failures.
When you see other people’s failures, you need to sit down into the Golden Rule and think for a second. How would they need to be talked to? How would I want to be talked to in that situation? When you ask that, you immediately are brought to edges of your character.
There are areas in your life where you need some grace and humility demonstrated. This is a great starting place for when you encounter people who need grace and humility themselves.
Humility knows it is dependent on grace for all knowing and believing. “What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?” (1 Corinthians 4:7).Desiring God – What is Humility
“Get real with your character flaws. Both, improve on them and use this knowledge as you navigate relationships with other flawed people.”
What lessons have you learned?
I have learned quite a few lessons in humility. I have a natural bent toward thinking things through, research, and trying to use my brain for every possible situation. This has made me needlessly arrogant in many situations. With time, I have seen that my opinions are just opinions and that I need to love other people despite their opinions. Love transcends my need to feel right.
What about you?