Friday, January 18, 2013

False Humility

What is Humility? Well the dictionary describes it as the quality or condition of being humble; modest opinion or estimate of one’s own importance, rank, etc. Humility can be one of the hardest things to master because as soon as you try to say that you are humble, you are no longer humble because you think you are good at being humble, confusing I know.  I think that most people think that to be humble means to think you are bad at something and that your talents are less valuable than they are.  But let’s be honest, it is real annoying when someone who is a great painter tries to tell you they are terrible, you both know that it’s not true, so why pretend like they aren’t good?

In C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters, one of the devils is explaining false humility states, “And sense what they are trying to believe may, in some cases be manifest nonsense, they cannot succeed in believing it and we have the chance of keeping their minds endlessly revolving around themselves in an effort to achieve the impossible,” (trying to believe that their talent is not valuable).

 It’s not bad to admit that God gave you a special talent.  When someone gives you a compliment, thank them and then thank God for giving you that gift. 

One way that I think about humility is that to be humble means that you don’t admire something greater just because you were the one who did it and not someone else.  You should find just as much joy in someone else making the last three throw or bringing your best friend to Jesus (even though you have been trying for years), as if it were you.  We should not think greater of ourselves just because God gave us different gifts than he gave those around us.  We should admire all that God has created and the different talent sets he has given. 

Next time you start to feel prideful because you are the super star athlete or an amazing poet, remember it was God who gave you this talent and He who deserves the praise.  And if you say that you got to be good because you practiced the last ten years, well then just remember God gave you the patience and the drive to keep practicing.  We all have special talents and gifts so why not use them to glorify the Lord and give him thanks. 

"False humility downplays one's genuine strengths to receive praise.  Arrogance plays up one's genuine strengths to receive praise.  Humility raises up others to they can be praised."  

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