Humility–A Forgotten Virtue

           There is an old Mac Davis song that says, “Oh Lord, it’s hard to be humble when you’re perfect in every way.  I can’t wait to look in the mirror cause I get better looking each day.”  That reminds me of the quote by Muhammad Ali, who when he was in his prime said, “It’s hard to be humble when you are as great as I am.” 

          Humility is a forgotten virtue in our day.  It fact, it is almost a scorned quality.  Often a humble person in our culture is perceived as being weak. cowardly or fragile. 

          Christianity teaches the very opposite.  Peter said, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (1 Pet. 5:5). James exhorted, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he will lift you up” (Jas 4:10).  The wise man said. “When pride comes, then comes shame; but with the humble is wisdom” (Prov.11:2). 

          Part of our problem with humility is a misunderstanding.  Humility is not self depreciation.  R.C. Trench observed that humility, “does not demand undue self-depreciation but rather lowliness of self estimation and freedom from vanity.”  The humble person is free from pride, arrogance and a spirit of  haughtiness in his accomplishments and achievements.  His success, whether it is physical, material, financial or spiritual is received with appreciation and enjoyed with thankfulness to God. 

          The Greek philosophers despised humility because they believe it implied inadequacy, lack of dignity and worthlessness.  This is not true.  Jesus was humble (Matt 11:29).  He lived a humble life in his relationships with others. He demonstrated His humility in washing the disciples feet (John 13:4-17).  And He exemplified humility in dying on the cross for our sins.  

          Paul calls on us to possess the mind of Christ and be humble (Phil  2:5-8).   A humble person, like Jesus, focuses more on the Father than on self.  He is more interested in others, than his own personal desires.  It is not a belittling spirit, but a giving and sharing spirit.  It is not self directed, but others directed. 

          A humble person also recognizes his spiritual inadequacy and his inability to save himself.  There is a realization and admission that “I need the Lord.”  The prophet was right when he wrote, “The way of man is not in himself.  It is not in man that walks to direct his steps” (Jer 10:23).  Indeed “the steps of a good man are ordered  (directed ) by the Lord” (Ps.37:23).  This is the essence of humility.

           As we live in a society that is self-centered and constantly looking out for “number one,” may we seek to be like Jesus.  To be humble.  To resist pride.  To  really see ourselves honesty and accurately.  When we do, the Lord will bless us, and He will lift us up!

 —Ken Weliever. The Preacherman

5 Comments

Filed under humility

5 responses to “Humility–A Forgotten Virtue

  1. Tom Thornhill Sr

    Ken, I enjoy your”Preacher’s word.” Good thoughts. One thing I thought of as I read today’s article was something I heard in a sermon by Dee Bowman. Commenting on humility he said “humility is hard to define, when you think you got it, you just lost it.”
    brotherly, Tommy Thornhill

  2. Ken Green

    Pride is the first on the list of things the Lord abhors (Prov. 6). The need of poverty of spirit was the first thing Jesus mentioned in His inaugural address (Matt. 5:3).

  3. This truly enjoyed and blessed me. #StayEncouragedInRighteousness

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