The Unexpected Path to Humility

by | Nov 9, 2015

I am always surprised when I meet a truly humble person – first, because it is such a rare event. But, what I’ve noticed just getting around them is I feel instantly drawn in. Maybe, this is because, for a few minutes, at least, their calming presence convinces me to release my constant, unconscious vigil to convince everyone I am a wonderful, capable and very special person.


Maybe, I feel comfortable with humble people because they seem so ordinary, like they have nothing to prove and no desire to compete with me in some life defining turf war.  They just seem so comfortable within themselves. Maybe this is why they seem so strange to us! Who do you know that is truly content within themselves?

Humble people just smile at you as you rehearse your latest accomplishments and connections but pretty soon their eyes glaze over. It’s as if they can see right through those little ego devices we use to define ourselves to ourselves and to others.

What’s cool about humble people is that  they seem to like you right off,

even before they’ve read your resume or police report. 

So, how do they get this way? Like… where can we go to sign up for our own slice of humble pie?

Wellll, we might want to- as my granny used to say-“hold our horses.” 

As we dig deeper into their story we’ll probably find Mr/Ms Humble got this way through multiple trials forged by all kinds of fire.

( still in?)

They tell us it’s in those times, they learned most painfully,

that they were not as great as they thought they were, but,

(and I find this interesting)

they were also not as puny as they believed they were either.

A person with humility seems to have the unique ability not to be enamored with either their merits (or contrary to popular misconception) their demerits. The do not see themselves as worms. But, they seem to have learned who they truly are the hard way– or some say – a few have the experience of being held in unusually great love at some pivotal point in their life which leaves them with an indelible mark.

It looks like we don’t just one day up and decide to be more humble. It’s more like humilty gets thrust upon us whether we ask for it or not. It is a by- product of situations when a person comes face to face with themselves and simultaneously face to Face with the Father and He graces them with his love and presence at a time most undeserved.

It’s like the curtains are thrown back and, maybe, for the very first time we see what’s truly true about us in the eyes of God –and it’s so much better, more beautiful and overwhelming than we could imagine that an internal shift occurs in us that changes us forever. 

Once we have experienced great loss or failure or defeat we  have a choice- to become bitter and reject our new reality or –respond to the grace of God poured out to us.

A positive response to a painful reality is what I believe grows humility. 

1 Peter 5:5 All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor (grace) to the humble.”

As I think about it now, most of the truly humble people I have known have become that way by being right-sized in the presence of God. It was there they discovered, through many soul-altering circumstances, that God’s abiding, unalterable love was all they had left…and surprise, surprise, it proved to be all they had really ever needed.

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