My Thoughts on Humility


 

 

Honour is the atmosphere of Heaven

So we read in Revelation 4:11, “You are worthy our Lord God, to receive glory and honour and power , for you created all things and by your will they were created and have their being.”

Honor is a deep, deep abiding inner attitude of reverence and respect

Honor should be a way of life.

The bible talks about honor 191 times in 41 of the 66 books of the bible.

Honour is a value statement

The word “honor”, which in the Greek is “Timao” (Tim-ah’-o), means to “esteem” or “fix value to something”. It means to “revere” or “venerate” something purely because it is of great value.

Honor is at the foundation of our way of life, if we are truly Christians. The issue of honor is significant and central to everything in the Bible.

But Before honour comes humility Pr 15:3

Humility defined

True humility doesn’t mean that we will dress shabbily to draw attention to ourselves, or brag about how little we spent on our wardrobe, or speak about how unqualified we are, or do anything to bring attention to ourselves. A. W. Tozer wrote, “I have met two classes of Christians: the proud who imagine that they are humble, and the humble who are afraid to be proud. There should be a third class: the self-forgetful who leave the whole thing in the hands of Christ and refuse to waste any time trying to make themselves good and humble. They will reach the goal far ahead of the rest of us.”

Dr. Frank Crane defines humility as follows: “It is the wish to be great and the dread of being called great. It is the wish to help and the dread of thanks. It is the love of service and the distaste for rule. It is trying to be good and blushing when caught at it.”

Happy at second fiddle

An admirer of Leonard Bernstein, the famous orchestra conductor, came to him on one occasion and said, “Mr. Bernstein, what is the most difficult instrument to play?” He responded, “Second fiddle. I can get plenty of first violinists, but to find one who plays second violin with enthusiasm, or second French horn, or second flute, now that’s a problem. And if no one plays second, we have no harmony.”

It seems to be a very common phenomenon that among musicians, pilots, actors, politicians, models and a number of other people from high status professions, humility is frequently absent. At this moment, it occurs to me that many pastors I have seen from several different countries fit into this category as well.

“Measure yourself by your eagerness to decrease so that Christ may be all in all. Measure yourself by your willingness for others to receive the prominence while you are forgotten, for others to receive credit for what you have worked so hard to achieve. Measure yourself by your joy in working the hardest in the most obscure positions.” Wesley Deuwel

What God has said about humility

For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. Matt 23:12.

For this is what the high and lofty one says — he who lives forever, whose name is holy: I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite. Isaiah 57:15

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken spirit and a contrite heart, o God, you will not despise. Psalm 51:17

This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word. Isaiah 66:2

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. James 3:13

God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. I Peter 5:5,6

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus, who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing (emptied himself), taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness, and being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself (made himself low) and became obedient to death, even death on a cross. Phil. 2:5-8

 

PROBLEMS CREATED BY PRIDE

A. The first problem is that pride often produces misunderstandings.

Have you ever met someone who knows it all? It doesn’t make any difference what the topic is, they can wax eloquent forever. And they never really listen to anybody else because they already know all the answers.

B. Secondly, pride provokes arguments. Proverbs 13:10 says, “Pride…breeds quarrels”. If you put two people who know it all in the same room, then you have two irresistible forces, two immovable objects who will not back down, or admit that they might be wrong. And the arguments just continue on & on.

Romans 12:16 says, “Don’t try to act big & think you know it all,” because pride provokes arguments.

C. Thirdly, I think pride prevents intimacy. Usually, people who are proud will not allow you to see them as they really are. They try to conceal their real self, & say things they think will impress you, & never allow you to see deep inside, because they are afraid that their real self will not be accepted. So they pretend to be something that they are not.

D. Fourthly, I think pride postpones reconciliation. If people are proud, then they aren’t willing to back down or compromise or find a common ground where agreement can be found. So reconciliation simply doesn’t take place.

 

The benefits of humility:

Written by Don Emerson Davis, Jr., and Joshua N. Hook. (Observer Vol.26, No.8 October, 2013).

One main benefit of humility is that it appears to strengthen social bonds, especially in important relationships that may experience conflict, or where differences might threaten the security of the relationship, according to our research. Our team has begun to examine humility in several different types of relational contexts (e.g., married couples, therapist and client, supervisor and supervisee, church leader and church member). We briefly outline our model of relational humility and some initial research findings supporting this model.

First, humility is most accurately judged when it is under strain. Humility involves self-regulation which, like a muscle, can be “weakened” with short-term use, but strengthened with regular exercise. Just like courage is easier to judge in the context of danger, humility ought to be easier to judge in contexts that evoke egotism, defensiveness, and conflict. This logic has informed the design of our studies. For example, we are studying humility during important transitions expected to strain humility — such as couples getting married, parenthood, or therapists forming a relationship with clients who hold different worldviews. We also have several projects where we study how people discuss religious or political differences.

Second, humility is easier to observe accurately in others than it is in oneself. This research question aligns our work with the study of personality judgments. Character strengths that involve interpersonal behavior are often more accurately assessed with other-reports; however, internal behaviors (e.g., attitudes, thoughts) are often better assessed by self-report. We try to triangulate self-reports, other-reports, and behavior relevant to humility. Round-robin designs are one nice way to do this. Namely, we have people come into a group to complete several activities together (which we can videotape and later code). Then we also have group members rate their own and each other’s humility, which can be analyzed with complex models that incorporate both an estimate of a person’s humility, as well as how much they may be overestimating their humility.

Third, humility strengthens social bonds. We call this the Social Bonds Hypothesis. Commitment promotes a sense of “we-ness in close relationships so that individuals enjoy sacrificing for a partner. This capacity to form cooperative alliances is adaptive, but only if there is a mechanism to avoid exploitation. Viewing others as humble should facilitate greater commitment, whereas viewing others as egotistical and selfish should decrease commitment. We have found initial evidence for this idea in studies on romantic couples, forming groups, and clients in therapy

Fourth, humility might optimize the benefits of competitive traits by buffering the wear-and-tear they can have on relationships. We call this the Social Oil Hypothesis. Just like oil prevents an engine from overheating, humility is theorized to buffer wear-and-tear generally caused by traits that promote competition (e.g., high standards, competitiveness). This idea is consistent with the findings of Collins’s study of business leaders published in 2001. CEOs are generally selected based on performance. However, being too competitive can strain one’s relationships with co-workers. Humility may be the secret ingredient that allows people to compete at high levels without leading to breakdown in one’s relationships.

Fifth, higher levels of humility may be related to better health outcomes. We call this the Health Hypothesis. If humility involves self-regulation in situations that generally lead to egotism or conflict, then it ought to be related to long-term health outcomes. Namely, relationship conflict is stressful. This conflict should amplify stress to the degree that people struggle to practice humility across relationships and contexts. People low in humility may struggle to form and repair strong social bonds, leading to lower social support and weakened coping. In the fall 2012 issue of the Journal of Psychology and Theology, Neal Krause of the University of Michigan provided preliminary evidence for this hypothesis in his research on older adults. He found that older adults who were more humble also rated their health more favourably over time. Our research team is currently working to link humility to reactivity and recovery from stress.

 

Top Ten Practical Things You Can Do to Increase Your Humility

 

1) Say Thank you more

2) Give credit where credit is due

3) Actually listen to other people in a conversation

4) Do what’s expected but don’t make a big deal out of it.

5) Stop one-upping people

6) Be quick to admit you are wrong and apologize.

7) Value other people’s time.

8) Give others the benefit of the doubt

9) Mind your own business

10) Be kind and gentle even under provocation.



Categories: Life

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3 replies

  1. this 1 cut close to the bone on many many different levels for me, with numerous situations i’ve been in over the yrs (in church) & personal situations even as i read this. I am endeavoring to practice all 10 points :-

    1) Say Thank you more

    2) Give credit where credit is due

    3) Actually listen to other people in a conversation

    4) Do what’s expected but don’t make a big deal out of it.

    5) Stop one-upping people

    6) Be quick to admit you are wrong and apologize.

    7) Value other people’s time.

    8) Give others the benefit of the doubt

    9) Mind your own business

    10) Be kind and gentle even under provocation.

    but is very difficult when dealing with this :- PROBLEMS CREATED BY PRIDE

    A. The first problem is that pride often produces misunderstandings.

    Have you ever met someone who knows it all? It doesn’t make any difference what the topic is, they can wax eloquent forever. And they never really listen to anybody else because they already know all the answers.

    B. Secondly, pride provokes arguments. Proverbs 13:10 says, “Pride…breeds quarrels”. If you put two people who know it all in the same room, then you have two irresistible forces, two immovable objects who will not back down, or admit that they might be wrong. And the arguments just continue on & on.

    Romans 12:16 says, “Don’t try to act big & think you know it all,” because pride provokes arguments.

    C. Thirdly, I think pride prevents intimacy. Usually, people who are proud will not allow you to see them as they really are. They try to conceal their real self, & say things they think will impress you, & never allow you to see deep inside, because they are afraid that their real self will not be accepted. So they pretend to be something that they are not.

    D. Fourthly, I think pride postpones reconciliation. If people are proud, then they aren’t willing to back down or compromise or find a common ground where agreement can be found. So reconciliation simply doesn’t take place.

    for many years my own children have gravitated towards women who are negative & full of pride (my youngest sons wife in particular) … & you just can’t break through that barrier & love them or have a decent relationship with them because they won’t slightly consider anyone else other than themselves, their own opinion(s) is all that counts. Dealing with oppositional attitude is hard too …. It’s tire-ring …exhausting actually …… So in prayer i have walked away & find forgiveness & pursue God & His Peace at all cost …even if that means letting go of those i love !. some people are just no teachable … there’s an old saying i love & that is “If your teachable … teachers will come ”

    it’s always a challenge when you have a compassionate , generous , open heart so i guess we need to prioritize people (even past situations)) so that we can be humble & grateful for where God is leading us with those He puts around us … i know it’s a continual process & patience is a KEY 🙂 i could relate closely to this scripture in particular :-

    The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken spirit and a contrite heart, o God, you will not despise. Psalm 51:17

    Honour is earned as well … & for many years my Husband & i we’re in a state of false honour with head leadership, so at this stage it is a new re- learning the right way to honour those over us.

    Here’s to continuing this journey with you Peter, Melanie & those God is putting in (our) my life 🙂

  2. This post titled “My Thoughts on Humility” is a little puzzling, since it teaches that it is good to “Give credit where credit is due”. However, the article does not give credit to who wrote the original thoughts cut-and-paste into the section titled “The benefits of humility” which was copied from a research article by Don Emerson Davis, Jr., and Joshua N. Hook. (Observer Vol.26, No.8 October, 2013). Without giving them credit, the impression is given that this quote falls under the heading “My Thoughts on Humility”.

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