“Integrity, like humility, is a quality which vanishes the moment we are conscious of it in ourselves. We see it only in others.”
Humility is one of those over used, misunderstood words. We often confuse humility with words like introverted, shy, insecure, spineless… and so on. As an incredibly outspoken person, I’ve had moments where I’ve given up on hopes of ever being a humble person, because I’ve been taught that humility is quiet.
But let’s be real. That’s incredibly unfair to say that God has given some of us an extreme disadvantage by giving us our personalities. If being humble means keeping my opinions to myself and smiling quietly while the stupidity of the world swirls around me then sorry, but I don’t want to be humble.
Fortunately for me and my overwhelming personality friends, humility isn’t a personality deal. It’s not about being quiet or being gentle or even being patient. Those are different things. At the Urbana conference a few years ago, I sat through one guys seminar and I am completely serious when I say that I only understood one sentence he spoke in the whole 45 minutes. He was just a fast talker and a big word user.
This guy said that humility is having a proper perception of onesself. That’s it. It’s not about those other words. It’s just knowing who you are. I’d go a step beyond it and say that true humility is having a proper perception of God, and then having a proper perception of ourselves when we look at him.
We do a disservice to ourselves and to each other when we associate the word “humble” with those words. We all, through prayer and seeking the Lord, have the opportunity and invitation to be humble. It doesn’t require a complete rewiring of our being. If we seek God more than we seek the response, opinion or validation of others, we’re on the right track. Humility is putting on Kingdom garments and claiming your citizenship here on earth. The first being last, losing to live, bowing low to be raised up. It’s the mark of Home.