Dictionary definition of humility: ”the quality of having a modest or low view of one’s importance.”

Humility is like a vapour. Easy to see, but impossible to get your hands on, or your arms around. There is a lot of truth to the idea that just when you think you have it, you lose it! In fact humility is not something we should try to see in ourselves, but by contrast it can be seen more easily in others. I think you would agree that there are people we know, who we see as humble, but they would never say that of themselves. In fact they will not see it in themselves either!

So, the question that haunts me is this: How do we aspire to be humble if we can’t see it in ourselves? Perhaps we could look at the question from the other angle. What are the characteristics we can see in others that in our mind makes them humble? Firstly and perhaps most important is that they will never draw attention to themselves, so they are never loud either in lifestyle, or language.

Children are taught to be assertive and not withdrawn or backward, and this coupled with social media where the number of ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ is paramount, what chance can anyone have of finding that elusive thing called humility? The one place where people will aspire to see and become humble is church. The Bible shows the life of Jesus where he is undoubtedly lowly and humble, but who wants to be like Him, when we can be popular and show folks how good we are?

The apostle says it this way in 1 Peter 5:5 : Be gentle as you care for each other. God works against those who have pride. He gives His loving-favour to those who do not try to honour themselves.” . What a lesson. So if a Christian comes across as: see me, hear me, loud, proud, assertive, pushy, or showy, they still have some way to go before the standard is reached, but remember it is easier to see humility in others, so we must take care that we don’t have any of these ‘anti-humility’ traits ourselves. You and I might not see them, but those around us certainly will!


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