Humility is something we can recognize quickly in others but can’t see in ourselves. This is because true humility cannot boast about itself otherwise it will be better labeled as pride. But, what if we become prideful about our ability to be so humble? Seems like a ridiculous oxymoron doesn’t it? But, this type of pride (really false-humility) is present in mankind in many subtle ways.
Perhaps it stems from religion or it is a knee-jerk reaction to society’s blatant exaltation and glorification of self, but within the church can be found the tendency to take self-image way beyond what’s truly humble. This is often very prevalent in the area of gifts, talents and abilities. There presides a tangible fear over many individuals regarding looking arrogant or presumptuous to others when using their gifts or abilities.
The key problem is the focus – to others.
A condition that can set the stage for false humility is shifting our focus from God our Father to others in the area of approval. The fear of man can lead us to try to “image control” by making sure we appear to be very humble to others. It’s an attempt to control what everyone thinks of us. This is actually very exhausting and takes us away from looking to truly “humble ourselves” before the Lord and men.
If we can get our eyes back on God our Father we can humble ourselves before Him by recognizing Him as the source of all things.
And this is the essence of true humility in this area; to recognize you have talent which leads to recognizing you have been talent-ed or given talent. To recognize a gift leads to the acknowledgment there was a Giver of that gift.
True humility recognizes that no talent, skill or ability originated with itself. It can admit its source and strength are not itself but God. And when this recognition resides in the heart, a humbling has happened.
Pride resists the notion to admit it has been “made” and insists on its own independence and self-importance whereas humility, welcomes the opportunity to display a gift or talent openly with the desire that the Giver of them will receive recognition, praise and honour.
False humility often attempts to degrade oneself or deny abilities because of the lie that this is more spiritual. True humility, however, recognizes the worth and value the Creator has placed on us and put in us.
Developing a heart to be viewed as humble in the eyes of Father God alone brings a release from the impossible task of managing what others may think of you. Seeking a true humility actually frees us to cooperate with the design and dreams of the One who created us for a purpose. As His love and approval flood your heart it will “cast out” (1 John 4:18) all fear. From this freedom we can say “yes” to all that Father God made us for and “walk humbly” (Micah 6:8) before Him as He leads us into His best.
Ask the Father to help you see all that He’s placed in you and embrace the humility to let Him shine through you as you give all of it back to Him for His glory.
“Humble yourselves before the Lord and in due time He will exalt you” James 4:10 ESV