"You have been told, O man, what is good, and what the Lord requires of you: Only to do the right and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God."
- Micah 6:8
So many other things we think and do also involve pride: not forgiving others, thinking too highly of ourselves, doing things for our own esteem, doing things to please others and not God, thinking that our gifts are for our own benefit and not for God's plan, and judging other people. It's funny because before we started this section on pride, I was thinking I didn't have much to work on because I am not really the bragging type. However, after going through this week's lessons, I have now seen that I have MUCH to work on to improve on my internal thoughts. I love this quote from Mother Teresa: “If you are humble nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are.” Both praise and disgrace both do really affect me and contribute to my self-esteem, and until they do not, I will not feel like I am a truly humble person.
Here is the list of tips Jeff Cavins gave us in the video for becoming more humble. I am definitely thankful to have these tips to keep me on track!
1. Routine Confession: Humility entails properly assessing who we are and who we are in relation to God. Confession helps us to be honest about who we truly are as a person.
2. Don't exalt yourself: Instead, give thanks. I was really able to see the fruits of humility through Thomas this week. At work he was supposed to reach a goal of a certain amount of money for sales to receive a really good bonus. He said that he made a bunch of sales that day, and he kept thanking God for helping him and for giving him the right words each and every time. At the end of the day, he had reached his goal! Even though it was tempting for him to put the focus on himself with everyone at work telling him he did such a good job, he was able to focus on God and thank him for being right there with him. His story really encouraged me to remember to thank God more frequently throughout my day. As I've wrote before, it is prideful not to thank God for everything because all good things come from him. ("Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers: all good giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no alteration or shadow caused by change." - James 1:16-17).
3. See the good in others: It is prideful to feel jealous when another person is successful. Don't get involved in unhealthy competition, but instead be genuinely happy for your friends and family when something good happens in their lives. We are called to encourage each other and build each other up (1 Thessalonians 5:11). Remember that we all have different gifts, and these gifts work together to benefit the community (Romans 12:3-8).
4. Serve others: It takes the focus off yourself. "Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves, each looking out not for his own interests, but everyone for those of others."
5. Forgive. Practice humility for forgiving others. Ask for forgiveness. It also takes a really humble heart to admit that you have done wrong and to ask for forgiveness.
6. Embrace the Cross. We all have things that we struggle with, and no human on this earth is perfect. We must deny ourselves and take on our own individual crosses (Luke 9:23), obviously with God's help. Recognize the fact that you do have limitations and cannot do everything or everything on your own.
7. Pray the Litany of Humility. I never heard this prayer before, but I love it!
Do you have any tips for becoming more humble? Have you ever struggled with humility due to a difference in what society values and what Christians value?
"Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you."
- James 4:10