Humility cuts across all religion. It originates from the word “humus”, which means soil. Thus humility is also described as being down to earth. I would define it as the virtue of living and being in sync with the simplicity of life as God intended it.
Some sources define it as the abasement, due and ordered appreciation of self in relation to God and our fellow men. From my Catholic faith, this is the virtue that helps you understand that we are all equal and of great individual worth to the Almighty God.
Humility helps you see the limits in the assertion and use of your gifts. Whatever you have is to be used for the good of others and to the glory of God and not necessarily to dominate others.
In other words, humility negates pride, arrogance, inordinate self-love(narcissism), over-blown confidence and self-seeking.
“Humble people are quite the opposite—confident and competent in themselves so much that, as a result, they seek to self-actualize by helping theirs”- Forbes.
These humility markers will help you detect if and when you are crossing the line.
What has self-control got to do with humility? I’ll tell you. Self-control is the practical wisdom of not blowing one’s trumpet. Humble people don’t go around reading out loud the litanies of what makes their personality special; or why they should be honored. It’s amazing if you’ve managed to earn the respect of people; but expecting drum rolls for subsequent achievements may be disappointing. While our egos may yearn for that in the secret of our hearts, humility makes you understand that the world does not revolve around you. It opposes narcissism which is overly evident in the world of social media. It takes self-control not to throw your wealth, beauty, intellect, status in the face of another.
2. Appreciate Others
Rick Warren says “true Humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less”. In other words, while you are well aware of your self-worth, you consciously and of course by the grace of God focus your eyes away from yourself. You learn to see as much good as you believe you have in yourself in the lives of people around you regardless of obvious flaws (which we all have). It won’t hurt to appreciate a friend’s good grades or a colleague’s brilliance at work.
3. Seeking Advice
Humility makes you acknowledge and accept that you are lacking in certain areas of your life. What naturally follows is finding ways of improving those areas. Sometimes you have your answers, some other times you don’t. It takes a humble heart to seek help and advice from others. It shows you actually value others.
Humble people do not assume that they know it all. We all need to listen- to hear people out- even if you’ve heard it over and over before. Being down to earth is one of the strengths needed to learn, unlearn and re-learn certain life patterns when the need arises.
5. Accepting Your Wrong-doing/Apologizing
Psalm 51:19 says, a humble and contrite heart O Lord you will not spurn. That says it all. Humility is shown when we understand that our human imperfections have hurt either God or our neighbor. Humble people duly accept they can’t be right all the time, thus the need to take responsibility and tender apologies when necessary. Saying sorry is no big deal for them.
6. Spirit of Service
He that must be great among you, must serve. The words of Jesus to His disciples. It is no surprise then that the truly great men in our midst today are often admired for their humility. A pompous person would rather be served than serve others.
Contentment does not in any way suggest timidity. Looking down on your God-given talent, gifts and abilities is actually known as false-humility. In fact, it is pride in disguise. Contentment is nothing short of working with the reality of your status and environment. It means understanding where you are and making the best of what you have at that level at that given moment. No one said making plans for a better future is not welcome here. Contentment helps us avoid making greedy and unrealistic decisions.