Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less. – C. S. Lewis
I learned that the word humility is derived from Hebrew term “harnessed horse.” It began to make sense when I read the Book of Job. Over three thousand years ago, a man named Job complained to God about all his troubles. God answered,
“Do you give the horse its strength, or clothe its neck with a flowing mane, do you make it leap like a locust, striking a terror with its proud snorting? It paws fiercely, rejoicing in its strength, and charges into to the fray. It laughs at fear, afraid of nothing. It does not shy away from the sword, the quiver rattles against its side, along with the flashing spear and lance. In frenzied excitement it eats up the ground. It cannot stand still when the trumpet sounds. At the blast of the trumpet it snorts, ‘Aha!’ It catches the scent of battle from afar, the shout of commanders and the battle cry.” Job 39 MSG
The third sign of maturity is spirit of humility. Humility doesn’t mean we let people walk all over us. It’s not thinking highly of ourselves. We accept every part of ourselves and let God take the rein.
We’re built to do amazing things. Our body is a miracle in itself. Our brains are the most complex organism in existence. Daniel J. Siegel, a neuropsychiatrist states, “The brain has an estimated one hundred billion neurons, which are collectively over two million miles long…” Such an organism is capable of an almost unimaginable range of activity, and modern research is showing how the mind, emotions, and free will emerge from our amazing brain. Without humility one can destroy a community.
John Bradshaw writes in his book Reclaiming Virtue, “At some point along the road toward ethical maturity, we must become rigorously honest with ourselves. And then we just embrace all the parts of ourselves with forgiveness and compassion. This is the road that leads to a fully informed and functional conscience.”
When we accept the fact that we are imperfect, we transcend it.
True story. During the Passion Week, an eleven year old boy had a rough week at school. He was down. His mother told him that we all have our cross to bear, but Sunday (Easter) is coming. So he wrote a letter to Jesus on Good Friday and left it by the fireplace… “Please Jesus forgive me of all my sins… and the one who made me feel bad.”
A little gesture like that makes me see how a child can learn to humble himself before another, in this case God. Of course, he will have more rough weeks ahead, but a little discomfort in the beginning can save a whole lot of pain down the road. Once a character is set in early age, they won’t have to swing so far that they can’t swing back.
Humility parallels maturity. Mature people aren’t consumed with drawing attention to themselves. They see how others have contributed to their success and can sincerely give honor to their Creator who gave them the gift and talent. This is the opposite of arrogance.
When we understand humility, we can be our true self without fear of coming forth as proud or arrogant. [/restrict]