So, what does everyone think about humility? What are your definitions of humility in a Christian context? Is humility a weaker position than “pride”? Are humble people pushovers?
I’ve been contemplating humility a lot lately.
I took a walk one day. I looked down at my feet. It was funny because I knew I wanted to take a walk, and my feet were moving, but I was in no way directing the actions of my feet. They were moving on their own though I did have, strangely enough, every single bit of control over them. If you think about it, all you have to do is think “walk” not “step” and “step” and “step.”
Anyway, the point is, I realized that’s how ALL my actions should be. More specifically, I should think “live” and Christ should take all the steps. It’s been amazing how this simple reflection straightens me out and reminds me of my dependence on Christ.
Moreover, St. Paul was the most humble man, yet one of the most influential. Humility does not imply weakness. On the contrary, humility implies utter dependence on Christ who supplies all the strength one needs. Humility is a position of strength and authority.
Jesus said He was “meek and humble” and that we also should follow His way.
How many times, when we are critizied - either rightly or wrongly (and especially wrongly) - do we, out of pride, make sure in no uncertain terms to justify whatever we are doing to others?
I have a most humble priest whom I taken to watch very carefully and have seen his silent response to situations that could quite honestly be taken very negatively. What a beautiful man! I don’t know if he is aware how expertly he teaches without saying a word, but I am sure God is working through him.
Since we only have to account for ourselves to God alone, there is little reason for us to worry about man’s opinions. It is a marvelous opportunity to gain the graces and favor of God by humbling ourselves in this world. It surely is a most important way to be closer to God.
Look how silent Jesus was during His Passion. I think this is the example we should follow. A humble person lives in God and God in him/her. One thing I’ve learned is that we should never cause distress in another by our actions.
Practicing humility is also a great opportunity to offer repentance for our intentions. Just the fact that you desire holiness is a great grace.
Finally dear Zahmir, (and sorry this post is so long), this is part of what a holy priest/monk wrote to me that someone else may also find useful: *Personally, I have found that when I can remain unconcerned by what people think of me or how they treat me, then perhaps I am on the correct path at least. Also, when I accept the “kicks” and “knocks” in life that people send my way and remain unaffected by this, I may be also on the right path. The Fathers say that a good monk is one who is humble and that is much like a dog, no matter how he is treated, either ill or warmly, he accepts it and considers that he does not deserve anything more. May it be so with us! *
I read an interesting view about humility in The Screwtape Letters. It says that humility is not about us trying to downplay our own talents and good points. All of those things are gifts from God, and we should appreciate them. However, we should think of any of our accomplishments as if someone else had done it, and then forget about it. While the former type is a good attempt at becoming humble, it isn’t what God wants. I thought this was a very good analogy.
BTW, The Screwtape Letters is an awesome book. Highly recommended. :yup:
I will second that. In that book, CS Lewis puts his finger on more ways that we deceive ourselves in a shorter number of pages than anywhere else I know, and in such a funny way. You start looking at the ludicrous way you act, and just laugh. I have a recording of it with John Cleese reading, and I listen to it at least once a year, usually during Lent. One of the big points of the book is that the devil only has to keep the truth out of our minds, and our own little self-centeredness can be depended upon to take care of the rest of the arrangements for our journey straight to Hell.
If you aren’t humble, you simply aren’t grounded in reality. You are seeing everything through a distorted lens that makes you more important than you are. Everything has to be about how wonderful you are or how well or poorly you compare with everyone else.
That is what pride is: Me, me, me, my every thought is about me. What could be more out of touch with reality than that? Yet that is what we do.