What is humility? And how do you get it? Much of the problem with humility is that it is an unrecognizable quality in one’s own self. You cannot achieve humility by trying to be humble, simply because the effort to be humble requires you to be anything but humble. The moment you focus on yourself to try to be humble, you no longer are.
WHAT HUMILITY IS NOT
Humility is not abasing yourself. It is not making yourself smaller than someone else, less noticeable, less powerful, or less important. The moment you try to make yourself less, you keep the focus on yourself. If the focus is on yourself at all, you cannot be humble. Humility cannot have the focus on yourself at all.
WHAT IS HUMILITY?
Humility is the absence of pride and ego. Achieving humility is not about suppressing your pride, or hiding your ego–which is what most of us do in an effort to be humble.
This, interestingly enough, really struck home one day while I was watching the old TV series “Gomer Pyle USMC.” They portray Gomer as somewhat of an idiot, but a happy, joyful, and fun-loving guy. He is so devoid of pride and ego that he cannot even recognize an insult when one is delivered. His sergeant once yelled, “Pyle, my 80-year-old grandmother can run faster than you!” To which Pyle replied in awe, “Well bless her heart!”
Not even recognizing an insult is true evidence of humility. More than that, Gomer’s mind didn’t go to himself. It went to the sergeant’s grandmother. He saw her lifted up instead of himself torn down. When you do not even realize that someone failed to recognize your skills, talents, and abilities, when you no longer even notice that you are the last one picked for a team, and when you can get excited that someone else has taken credit for your work, then you will have achieved true humility. This will only happen when your thinking is focused on the others who did get picked and who did get the credit. You are happy for them! That is humility.
Interestingly enough, when you reach this point, you will not even know it. It will not even be something you think about. To say, “I am humble” is not humility. Your pride and ego are still there.
WHAT HUMILITY DOES
What is humility? And what does it do? In essence, humility lifts up someone else. John the Baptist once said of Jesus that “He must increase and I must decrease.” John doesn’t need to try to decrease himself. All he needed to do was uplift Jesus Christ. When you lift up others, you are exhibiting true humility.
The goal, therefore, is not to be humble. It is to make a concerted effort to empty yourself of pride and ego by putting your focus on others. When you lift up others in your life, you will have no problem being humble.
So what is humility? It is lifting others up and not yourself. It is lifting others up instead of putting yourself down. That’s all it is.
HUMILITY REQUIRES SUBMISSION
Overlooked in the idea of humility is the necessary ingredient of submission. You will never lift someone else up unless you are submitting yourself to their needs, desires, and wants. You can’t find humility until you submit to the needs of others.
James 4:10 says, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” How do you humble yourself? By lifting the Lord up. When you do that, then He will lift you up as well.
1 Peter 5:5-6 says, “For God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.” Submitting to the will of God means you are focused on His will and that is how you find humility in the eyes of God.
What is humility? It is submission. And submission is the Divine Ingredient to obtaining humility.
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