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A Different View of 'Humility'


I once asked a group for a volunteer to play the piano. No one moved.

Finally, someone coaxed a young woman forward. And then, she played superbly! She was very talented. However, she apparently thought a show of reluctance was the proper way to show humility.

But that's not humility. When seeing a need, the humble person offers what is needed—whether it's a question, an answer, or a talent. They do so even at the risk of having some people think they are being bold. But worrying about that is pride, not humility; humility doesn't worry about appearance.

Yes, it is true that humility includes "not thinking oneself greater than others." However, the true evidence of having an attitude of humility is a willingness to step forward, instead of hanging back. It means offering a helping hand, rather than waiting for others to ask, or for them to lead the way. Humility means to simply do what needs to be done.

Humility is not overly-concerned with self and with having to be flawless. It is characterized by seeing what is needed and stepping out to try to meet the need.

Humility dares to say, "I don't understand what you said." Pride pretends that it already understands. Humility will ask a person's name. Pride doesn't dare to show that it failed to remember.

Jesus was humble. But he didn't withhold himself with his head down. His humility is seen in meeting the needs of people. Doing what had to be done. Giving of what he had. Not protecting his reputation or his skin. He gave up his comfortableness to help people. (Phil. 2:1-11)

Humility may be paired with obedience. Humility is like being a servant who sees needs and reaches out to give.

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