Have you ever tried really hard to be humble? Or found yourself trying to figure out how to act humble or appear humble? And I don’t mean in a superficial pretending-to-be-humble kind of way. But in an “I genuinely want to be humble, how can I do it?” kind of way?
It’s a powerful virtue and a worthy goal – to be humble, to have humility.
In fact, humility is the foundation for the whole of spirituality. Inherent to it is a recognition that everything I have has been received from an Other. If you want to know the truth about yourself, pursue personal humility.
The trap I often fall into in this pursuit, though, is that I go about it with the wrong focus. I go about it by focusing on me being humble. But humility in the end is not really about me at all.
“Humility is ‘thy will be done.’ Humility is focused on God, not self. Humility is not an exaggeratedly low opinion of yourself. Humility is self-forgetfulness. A humble man never tells you how bad he is. He’s too busy thinking about you to talk about himself. That’s why humility is such a joy and so close to the beatific vision, where we will be so fascinated with God that we forget ourselves completely.” – Peter Kreeft, How Does the Weakness of the Cross Make Us Strong?
So humility is not really thinking less of yourself as much as it’s thinking of yourself less. We live in a culture that celebrates, encourages and applauds shameless selfishness, self-absorption and individualism. The antidote is genuine humility.
Tip for Radical Living: Each morning, commit to thinking a little less of yourself and a little more of others than you did the day before.