If you’re humble and you know it… well…


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I find humility to be an interesting attribute because, if you think you have it, you almost certainly don’t.  It’s one of those things that others notice about someone else while the person in question generally remains oblivious.

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The thing about humility is that you don’t become humble by trying to be humble.  You become humble by taking the focus off yourself.  That’s easier said than done because most people like attention whether they admit it or not.  I’m not saying attention is bad, in and of itself… it’s how you handle it.  I think that’s why the more attractive, charismatic, famous or popular a person is, the more difficult it is for them to be humble.

It takes tremendous discipline to not believe your own press.

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I am a huge C.S. Lewis fan.  He had the gift of clarity.  So, not surprisingly, I love his definition of humility.

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He expands that definition to include this truth…

“As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on things and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down you cannot see something that is above you.”

Humility always looks up.

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I don’t know about you but I’ve met lots of nice, kind and/or caring people.  But I’ve rarely met truly humble people.  Humble people touch your life in a deep and unique way.  You don’t forget them.  It’s also not unusual to find that humble people have experienced deep hardship, failure and/or loss in their lives.

Humility is often born from great difficulty.

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I want to be humble.  I want to stand out from the rest because of who I am as a person.  I want to be secure in who I am as a person but not focused on myself.  I want to give more than I take.  I want to be the opposite of self-centred, selfish, and egocentric.  I don’t want pride in my life.  I want my life to reflect Jesus, the most humble – and only perfect – person to ever walk the face of the earth.

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According to Mother Teresa – an extraordinary example of humility – these are a few of the ways we can practice being humble:

Speak as little as possible about one’s self.
Mind one’s own business.
Don’t desire to manage other people’s affairs.
Avoid curiosity.
Accept contradictions and correction cheerfully.
Pass over the mistakes of others.
Accept insults and injuries.
Accept being slighted, forgotten and disliked.
Be kind and gentle even under provocation.
Never stand on one’s dignity.
Always choose the hardest.

The bad news?

I realize just how far I am from being humble.

The good news?

That realization may well be the seeds of humility.

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14 thoughts on “If you’re humble and you know it… well…

  1. Would it hurt your quest for humility if I asked to re-blog this? 🙂 This is a perennial issue for me too. Of course I like attention (that’s human) but I do want to focus it back on God rather than me. God help us both in this quest!

    1. I would honoured to have you reblog my post (after I stopped myself from saying that I’d be humbled to 🙂 ). I think humility is the foundation for all the other attributes, and yet it’s one we tend to sweep under the rug. As you so aptly said, “God help us both in this quest!” I’ll expand that to say, “God help us all!” Thanks so much for your comments and the follow!

  2. Re-blogging on mine. Yes – false humility fools no-one, least of all God. And I am bad at accepting praise when I should be gracious and see it as a gift from Him as well as the other person!

  3. Very much enjoyed your take on humility! I also have to say the Peanuts cartoon at the end cracked me up, I once resolved a persistent bullying problem when I was ten years old by hitting a boy in the head with my lunchbox. Not the “right” thing to do , but then he finally stopped harming me. 😀

    1. I’ve been a lifelong fan of Peanuts cartoons because they’re so easy to identify with. Lessons for kids of all ages :). Your lunchbox story is case in point! Thanks so much for taking the time to check out my blog!!

  4. Love this one! Humility…”I was watching a show the other night and one of the hosts tells a contestant that he’s a “very humble guy.” The guy was anything BUT humble, and it was meant as a joke.

    The contestant, however, replied “Oh yeah, thanks…I’m good at that too!” Great post…(you can agree with humility)!

    Jeff

      1. Yep, some people! The proud in life shall be made humble…

        You have a super day, Joy! Always good to hear from you.

        Jeff

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