What is humility?
Humility is a word that is overused, much like love and grace. But what does it mean? I love how the Urban Dictionary describes it:
“True humility is to recognize your value and others value while looking up. It is to see there is far greater than ourself into who we can become, who others can become, and how much more we can do and be. To be humble is to serve others and be for their good as well as your own.”
On the other hand, Biblical humility is grounded in the character of God. The Father stoops down to help the poor and needy (Psalm 113:4-9); the incarnate Son exhibits humility from the manger to the cross (Matt. 11:29, Philippians 2:5-8) In Matthew 11:29 emphasizes Christ’s humility before humankind, whom he came to serve and his submission before God. Humility and meekness are often inseparable. We know from God’s Word that He resists the proud and gives grace to the humble.
As leaders, how do we know we’re walking in humility?
How can we know that we are living in humility and ready to receive God’s blessings? I’ve learned that this question is putting the cart before the horse. It appears to me that before I can begin to serve others and think of them more highly than myself, I first must come to a place of pure abandonment and humility before God. Often times, God uses the process of transition to bring us into a place of humility. If we cooperate with Him in this, we grow into greater leaders with increased impact.
When I owned my own business (fifteen years), I had sought God on the best way to obtain clients. I am an extrovert, but often my personality is misunderstood as a salesperson, rather than one with passion. The only answer I received was, trust me. I did, but after a few days when I saw no fruit, I decided I needed to step up and help God move me forward. Seriously, didn’t God understand I needed money to live and pay bills? Do I need to share that this attitude did not work well for me?
There comes a time in a believer’s life when God tells us something that will deliver a death punch to our pride. It is about the moment when God reveals that even the good we do is worthless apart from Him. I experienced first hand that my strategy apart from God was worthless. My actions brought me to a place of deep humility that without Christ, I can accomplish nothing of significance. His Father’s heart was not to embarrass, cause me to fail or shame me, but rather to make me deeply and desperately dependent on God as my one and only source.
I saw my arrogance and inverted pride that I called humility. I admitted my failure, impatience and called out for God to handle my business. And a few months later out of the blue, God connected me to an organization that I could strategically align that played on my strengths and their weaknesses. It was a God connection and not a Rita strategy. God always had this lined up. He is always for me and is for you. I have learned that God is the greatest career strategist.
What have you learned about humility in your life? Or perhaps through my story what might you see differently in your own life?