Studies of Humility: Introduction

Studies of Humility: Introduction

In mid-December, God threw a hard blow at my pride.  Unintentionally, I found myself reading an acquaintance’s opinion of me, and the evaluation was less than stellar.  Immediately, my competitive spirit became defensive, arguing, “well she obviously doesn’t really know me…”.  After I cried a little and tried to mentally justify my every interaction with this individual, and I realized the heart of the issue.  In my pride, I had not taken the time to really know her. 

So I did what any good writer would do.  I sat down with my laptop and admitted my conceit to the entire blogosphere–with good intentions, of course!  For the next few weeks, I hope to share Biblical examples of humility with practical tips for demoting ourselves and elevating God (John 3:30).

Before we dig into the study, let’s form a biblical definition of humility. 

“Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought to think.”

Romans 12:3

Often, I think of humility as the opposite of pride, and (to use a generally despised litotes) that assumption is not wrong.  According to Webster’s Dictionary, humility is “freedom from pride or arrogance.”  Webster defines pride as “inordinate self-esteem,” or in the Apostle Paul’s words, thinking “of yourself more highly than you ought to think” (Romans 12:3).  Humility, therefore, is freedom from a false view of yourself.

Did you catch that?  Humility is freedom.  Returning to my opening story, you could say that I was ensnared.  When I first saw my name on the evaluation sheet, I expected to read words of praise.  When the words that I read did not align with the words I imagined, I was disappointed. 

If I had read her statement with an attitude of humility, I probably would have reacted differently.  Instead of unexpected embarrassment, the words would have delivered necessary critique.  Instead of defensive reasoning, I would have postulated methods of improvement. 

“Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips.”

Proverbs 27:3

Humility is important because it frees us from lies that are simultaneously self-glorifying and self-destructive.  I look forward to pursuing this freedom with you in the upcoming weeks as we study examples of humility in God’s Word.

Let me know in the comments:

  • Has your pride ever taken a hard blow?  How did you respond?
  • What is your view of yourself?  Is it a false view (pride) or an accurate view (humility)?

2 thoughts on “Studies of Humility: Introduction

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