Humility has to be one of the most difficult qualities to embrace and exhibit. We live in a constant battle to prove ourselves and appear more than we really are. We like to appear in control. We like the image of having it together but the honest to goodness truth is that none of us are that good.
Humility can only come from an honest assessment of self and a transparency before the Lord and people of our true self.
Humility is the outward expression of someone who is comfortable in their own skin and has set aside the pressure of appearing to be someone you are not.
Humility doesn’t allow for the lowering of others for the elevation of self.
Humility has a willingness to personally pay for or take the heat from someone else’s failures as well as one’s own.
Humility allows you to do what is right even when it doesn’t appear so to others and not compromise integrity to ensure others think well of you.
Humility learns from mistakes without the need to blame someone else.
Humility dismantles entitlement.
Humility relieves us of the pressure to defend ourselves at all cost in social media.
Embrace humility. It is one of the biggest reflections of your integrity that people may never know. In fact people who don’t get humility may mistake it for weakness. That’s ok because we have to let go of the idea that we have to justify or prove ourselves or be approved by any and everyone. We live to please the Lord and he calls us to be humble. We can trust the path God calls us to because he will defend our cause. He will speak for us. He will uphold and strengthen and exalt us far more than we could ever do for ourselves!
Too many of us are like the fellow whom everyone looked at as a great example of humility, so much so that at they gave him a medal for it – but ended up taking it away from him because he wore it.
That’s awesome, lol
Good artucle, Matt. I agree (who wouldn’t) with the fact that we need to be humble. After all, God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble – and who doesn’t need Grace?
But, it seems to me that more and more, people (even nonbelievers) are preaching some type of Pseudo Humility. Basically, the whole Politically Correct approach – being careful not to say or do or teach anything that will make someone else feel as though they are wrong. The whole, “I’m no different than anybody else and therefore, who am I to judge another person over anything at all?” Since I am a sinner myself, I have no right to specifically point out, oppose, and/or condemn the sin(s) of any other.
And this, (what I’ll call) “Pseudo Humility,” has crept into the church and has not only prevented the exposing of much sinful behavior, but also prevents the correcting of doctrinal error. And, it goes like this – “Since I have believed a Biblical teaching incorrectly before, and since I may be mistaken in some biblical teaching at present, I have no right to correct any (perceived) doctrinal error of another.
I recently came across some articles of a Professor at Pepperdine who (in my opinion), takes the above position. She (Elizabeth Mancuso), writes about “Intellectual humility”. And basically (to me, at least), it seems as though “intellectual humility” demands that one never knows or understands a thing with 100% certainty. To recognize that one may be wrong, that one may be incorrect in their understand of a thing, is the essence of being “intellectually humble”. She has a quiz online to test ones “IH” and the first question is this:
“Are You Intellectually Humble? Questions for Personal Reflection”
#1 – “Even when you feel strongly about something, are you still aware that you could be wrong?”
And there is no reason to understand her to mean that ANY belief is excluded from that. Rather, “IH” demands that one leave room for the fact that what they believe (or know), could actually be wrong.
For example, ask yourself this question:
“Does the BIble teach that one must be baptized in order to be added to the church, put into Christ, and be saved?”
Does “Intellectual humility” demand we answer (or refuse to answer) this question in a particular way?
How about this one:
“Does the Bible teach that the religuous Jews (those who do not believe Jesus is the Son of God) are lost unless they repent and believe?”
How does “IH” demand we answer (or refuse to answer), that question.
Jhn.8.31-32.kjv “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
In what sence can one “know” the truth? And to which truth(s) do his words apply? In order to be “Intellectually Humble”, must one really ALWAYS “be aware that (you) could always be wring”?
What truths (if any) can we “know”, without necessarily being aware that we may actually be wrong? Any? Which ones?
Sorry if this is not the direction the OP was intended to go, but I believe this topic is pertinent. Especially, in light of the most recent, previous articles…
It isnt where i was taking it but those are valid questions. You shoukd read Schaeffer’s book The God Who is There. He takes the problems of post modernism and decinstruction to task. He says just because we cannot fully know all things does not mean we have nothing to go on. The humility i was talking about was more about how we see ourselves moreso than about how we discuss doctrine.
Well, I’d be curious to hear your take on “intellectual humility”, specifically, in terms of how it relates to the Bible. If, to which things, and to what extent can we absolutely know a thing, without needing to leave room for “the fact” that we may actually be wrong?
Too, and when you get the chance (I know its Christmas Eve), I’d like to know what you meant with your last comment on your last article 😉
I will get to this eventually!
Hi Matt, this is life you are talking about, isn’t it? Well, I’m sorry but I think some of the statements you made are formula idealistic, and pragmatically unworkable, as imperative rules of conduct. Here’s an example that negates the following three: “Humility has a willingness to personally pay for or take the heat from someone else’s failures as well as one’s own”, “Humility learns from mistakes without the need to blame someone else”, and “Humility dismantles entitlement.”. What about the situation where you are a work supervisor, and someone is characteristically inadequate or careless in a life-critical task? You try speaking to them, but it doesn’t seem to register, or they take it the wrong way. Are you willing to humbly cover for them and risk even more unsuspecting victims? It may seem noble to take the heat for the problems, but it’s better in human costs if the blameworthy person gets the boot ASAP; and, besides you’re a lousy supervisor if you let the person continue given the risk they pose. It’s the truth that Christians are here to witness for: how can truth be upheld by deception? Think again.
General rules are idealistic by their very nature. These are generalities that have helped me or i wish i had praticed but failed to in the past. This doesn’t mean yiu must take blame in all situatuons for all people.