“In a society where fortune favors the strong, modesty is often seen as a weakness. Climbing to the top of a corporate ladder is our modern version of ‘survival of the fittest’ — and for that reason, meekness is often under-appreciated. But turns out, the secret to success and fulfillment may very well lie in the ability to express humility.” — Lindsay Holmes
Jesus said, “Blessed are the meek,” but that’s a virtue we no longer seem to value. Americans tend to equate meek with weak, but true humility is a virtue of success. Later, Jesus told his disciples, “For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted,” (Matthew 23:12). So how can I learn to be humble?
Humble People Focus on Others
“All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble,” – Peter, 1 Peter 5:5
While it’s true that humble people tend to reflect inward, but they focus their energy on other people. C.S. Lewis said, “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”
Lindsay Holmes observes, “Because there’s this lack of self-absorption, humble people also have more courage to try new things. With a focus on others, there is less pressure to be perfect.”
Humble People Act on Their Compassion
Research has shown that humble people are more likely to help others in need. They are more charitable and generous, and, studies show compassionate people live healthier and happier lives.
Humble People Make Moral Decisions
Stuck between a rock and a hard place? Humble people look to their “moral compass” when they are making decisions. A proud man’s arrogance causes them to blunder, while the wise man humbly looks for guidance from above.
Happiness is a Journey
Everyone wants to be happy, but it is a strange paradox that people who pursue happiness often don’t find it, while people who don’t focus on happiness find it along the way. Mike Austin, Ph.D., professor of philosophy at Eastern Kentucky University, explains, “Human nature is such that we want to be happy, however we tend to define that, but … people that are the happiest are the ones that don’t think so much about trying to be happy …. They get caught up in projects, people and things that they consider bigger and more important than themselves and then they get more happiness anyway as a byproduct.”
Humble People Make Great Leaders
“Now the man Moses was very meek, more than all people who were on the face of the earth,” Numbers 12:3.
Humble people give other people credit inspiring the best from their followers. They are open to collaboration. Time Magazine reported humility actually makes people better employees and bosses. James reminds us, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up,” (James 4:10).
Humble People are Patient
Because humble people are focused outwardly, they do not require constant affirmations. They are willing to wait and enjoy the journey. The Apostle Peter said, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” Modesty fosters patience.
Humble People Enjoy Stronger Relationships
Humility creates a sense of “we-ness” in relationships. Modesty and genuine graciousness fosters true friendships and builds stronger relations. The Apostle Paul reminds us to “be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love,” (Ephesians 4:2).
Thanks to Lindsay Holmes and a wonderful article in the Huffington Post, July 13, 2015.