Redefining humility

I am but a baby in understanding and walking in this thing: a little over 2 years ago I began to ask the Lord for humility. Boldest and at the same time dumbest request ever. If you ever want to be humiliated, if you ever want to be crushed, then do just that: ask for humility. If you ever want freedom, if you ever want peace and joy, if you ever want clarity, then do just that: ask for humility.

It’s something I have had a bit of an obsession with. Oh the depth of this thing! The beauty and depth of this thing astounds me every step I take towards in understanding it/walking in it. As with a subject like the love of God, to try and articulate or describe this thing would be like trying to describe the beauty of a mountain-top sunset over the ocean with clouds and colours and all, using only grunts or hand actions, with no fingers/thumbs.

In some ways, talking about humility is antithetical to it’s nature, but in other ways it really isn’t. In understanding it better, perhaps we can hope to walk more and more in what I would regard as one of the most central and beautiful pillars of redeemed human nature. To name only a few of it’s benefits/perks/relationships – you need humility to experience joy, peace, clarity, progress, productivity and teachability, leadership, healthy relationships, and awe. It is deeply at the core of what it means to be a human being. You can probably work this out backwards – because at the centre of human sinfulness and brokenness is pride. IMO two core things have plagued humankind since the fall – greed and pride (Jesus deals with both ALOT – money and dying to self). Related with, or at the core of most sins I can think of, is pride. And so it follows that humility is SO beautiful.

We are living in a society and a generation, a culture that is deeply narcissistic and prideful and our conceptions of humility are hence affected in ways we probably don’t know or fully realise but here are some starter (mis)conceptions in beginning to think rightly about this glorious diamond of a thing.

A few misconceptions
1. humility is not primarily or secondarily or ever really a sense of brokenness or sinfulness or unworthiness
2. humility is not thinking less of oneself or having low self-esteem or having any sense of self deprecation

A few conceptions
1. humility as dependence
2. humility as self-forgetfulness
3. humility as the death of self
4. humility as freedom
5. humility as weakness AND strength (at the same time)
6. to have humility is to have a sense of self/identity/purpose

My brain is quite dead at the moment, but let’s leave this primer post here in the hope that your appetite for this thing has been whetted sufficiently. I would like to keep develop this thing and perhaps post a long series on humility at some point in the future to help crystallize and broadcast my thoughts and meditations and experience of it.

To the only truly humble and beautiful man be all the glory.

 

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