Why Your Description of Humility is Wrong

We look at the girl who is beautiful, outgoing, popular and fashionable and say, “There’s no way she can be humble.”

But what does humility look like?

The issue is not so much that our definition is wrong, but that our description is wrong. We have misconceptions and preconceived notions of what humility should look like — or what we want it to look like — rather than what it actually is.

We tend to make humility a personality thingIn all actuality, humility is more of a character thing.  Humility is more of who you are than what you’re like.

The essence of humility, as I’ve written before, is service of others to the glory of God. Practically, this looks like realizing that we are sinners in need of God’s grace, speaking in such a way that is salty and seasoning, speaking well of others, being quick to listen and slow to speak, thinking of ourselves less , selfless living, etc.  All of these are done out of humble character. In other words, you do these things because it’s who you are.

Jesus Christ never sinned and was the most humble man who ever lived. He was frequently invited to parties, turned water into wine, and hung out with tax collectors and prostitutes. He showed us what true humility looks like by constantly serving others back then and still incessantly serving us (Heb. 7:25) right now. If we want to grow in humility, we should look to Jesus.

We can be shy, unpopular, uncool and have few talents and still be prideful. We can also be a millionaire NFL Quarterback and walk in the ways of humility. Because humility is more of who you are than what you’re like.

Post your comments below.

11 thoughts on “Why Your Description of Humility is Wrong

  1. David, so absolutely true. I was thinking about the humility of Christ this past week–considering that this great King became a servant in all aspects of life. Consider that Jesus, empowered to heal, to walk on water, to speak and have the wind and waves obey him, and to forgive, saw fit to wrap himself with a towel, get down on his hands and knees and wash the grimy feet of sinful men. Humility indeed.

  2. This is a great post, David. It has challenged me. I read of the great actor, Rock, and I was surprised at his humility, although I don’t know whether he is born again.

  3. I totally agree! Good point. Doing your best and presenting yourself in the best way possible is not being flashy/un-humble. It’s just being a good steward of what you’ve been given. It’s only when you let those things go to your head that you’re no longer a humble person.

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