Humility and How I Attained It

I think humility is one of the most difficult Christian virtues to understand, much less produce in life.  Every time I think I’m starting to get a small understanding of it something happens to show me I really don’t grasp.  I recently came across a statement by François Fénelon, written about 300 years ago, that has given me new insight into humility.  Read it and see what you get out of it:

It is false humility to believe ourselves unworthy of God’s goodness and to not dare to look to him with trust. True humility lies in seeing our own unworthiness and giving ourselves up to God, never doubting that he can work out the greatest results for and in us. If God’s success depends on finding our foundations already laid, we might well fear that our sins had destroyed our chances. But God needs nothing that is in us. He can never find anything there except what he himself has given us.

I confuse my own insecurity and poor self-image with humility, when really it is just pride masquerading as humility, and not doing a very good job of it.  The harder we try to be humble the less humble we really are!  When can one ever say they are growing in humility or have attained a measure of humility?  The moment we think we have it, it is gone in pride.  So instead of thinking of myself as humble or not humble, the best thing I can do is not think about myself at all.  I won’t find humility by looking within myself, but only by keeping my eyes on Jesus.  And that is also much easier said than done, isn’t it?

James 4:10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

1 Corinthians 1:28-29  God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.

What insights have you learned about humility?

Think of someone you know who is a truly humble Christian.  What is it about them that shows humility?  What inside of them causes this, for humility is an attitude shown by actions, not something we can produce by acting certain ways?


Jerry Schmoyer

Christian Training Organization

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