“Humility is poverty of spirit and meekness. Humility inspires an attitude of listening and of seeking out those who can give good counsel. Humility welcomes correction. A humble person is not proud or arrogant. Humility is not a denial of my value as a human being but rather seeing myself in relationship to God. Humility results from being in a state of gratitude rather than envy, resentment, or bitterness. Do I boast about myself? Do I respect others? Do I listen with attention and a readiness to learn? Do I resent good advice? Do I accept correction with gratitude? Or do I defend myself even when I am in the wrong?
Patience is calmly bearing or enduring delay, disappointment, pain, and sorrow. It is a deep confidence in God’s providence and the willingness to persevere even in the face of loss and failure. Clement speaks of patience as an ‘interiorized monasticism.’ It is not resignation but the awareness that truly Christ is risen from the dead and is with us moment to moment, no matter where we go or what we are enduring” (Jim Forest, Confession: Doorway to Forgiveness).
Am I humble? Here are some questions that I probably need to ask myself:
- Do I always feel the need to defend myself when I perceive that I am being attacked?
- Do I always have to be proven right as well as making sure the others be proven wrong?
- Does it matter when I am not praised for doing what is right?
- In a conversation, do I always seem to talk about myself more than the other person?
- Can I trust the Lord to defend my reputation or do I feel I must defend it myself?
There are probably more questions I could ask myself to make sure that I am truly seeking to be humble in the biblical sense of the word.
I still remember the definition that humility isn’t thinking less of myself and always deferring praise but thinking less of myself. Jesus was the ultimate example of humility the way He was always 100% committed to and focused on His Father’s will at all times in all places. During His trial and crucifixion He never once defended Himself but left it to His Father.
I can think of no better example for humility than Philippians 2:5-11. That is true humility.