The requirement of humility
The Foundation of Humility
Indeed, humility as a foundation is a good image, since by it we bow toward the earth or soil (humus in Latin) and abase ourselves before God. Foundations and holes in the earth go together.
By humility, we understand that we are small, poor, barely more than dust and water. If God does not scoop us from the earth, we are nothing. Only by His command is the mysterious spark an organizing principle of life ignited. We are wholly dependent on God; our life is contingent. We do not explain ourselves at all. We are dependent not only on our parents (who cannot explain themselves either), we are dependent on God’s purely gratuitous act of summoning us from dust. We are given existence by Him who is existence itself.
But what is humility and why is it important for us to to show such ?
Humility is the quality of being humble. It is seeing yourself as equal or putting yourself not beneath another but seeing the world as being ‘equal’. It is casting your pride aside to express an appropriate inner, or self-regard, and is contrasted with humiliation which is an imposition, often external, of shame upon a person.
Humility, in various interpretations, is widely seen as a virtue which centers on low self-preoccupation, or unwillingness to put oneself forward, so it is in many religious and philosophical traditions, it contrasts with narcissism, hubris and other forms of pride and is an idealistic and rare intrinsic construct that has an extrinsic side.
Humility means submission, but not groveling
Humility and submission go hand in hand. God’s Word tells us that, as Christians, we are to submit to one another in lowliness of mind. “Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’” 1 Peter 5:5-6.
By being submissive and “clothing ourselves with humility” we can create peace and unity with the others. We are not to be so proud and high up that we can’t accept correction or exhortation. Neither should we be of the mindset that our own opinions and thoughts always are better than the others. Such thinking won’t lead us to any progress or unity in Christ.
At the same time, being submissive and humble does not mean in any way, shape or form that we are to bow down to other people. Paul was very clear when he said that we are to serve God and God alone. For, “you were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men.” 1 Corinthians 7:23. He also writes: “For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10.
While it is important to be submissive: to accept correction and remain lowly in our own eyes, as Christians, we are to seek to please God with our lives. We need to fear Him and keep His word. This should be our focus: to humble ourselves under God’s will and live and breathe to keep His commands, not to try to meet human demands and expectations.
Humility does not mean that we are silent, or passive people
“Do not let your adornment be merely outward…rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.” 1 Peter 3:3-4. God desires that Christians possess a gentle and quiet spirit. It is of the utmost importance that we are humble and still in our inner manThe outer man is our physical body while we are here on the earth. Our inner man is our everlasting spirit and soul. (Romans 7:22; 2 Corinthians 4:16; Ephesians 3:16; Matthew 10:28)… More, so that we can hear God’s Spirit speaking to our hearts throughout the day.
Humility means we use our talents and capabilities
“For by the grace given to me, I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.” Romans 12: 3. To have a humble mindset is to think soberly about oneself. This means that we don’t boast of our own accomplishments and abilities. Rather, we acknowledge that our sufficiency is of God in all of things. (2 Corinthians 3:5).
“God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you… Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.” James 4:6-8, 10. God works according to laws. It is a natural law that if we humble ourselves under God’s mighty hand, surrendering our own will and honor, then He will give us the grace that we need to live a Christian life in truth, as well as exalt us in His time.
How can we practice humility?
Look out for others’ interests, not just your own. (
During World War II, hundreds of English soldiers became prisoners of war when the Japanese defeated their units, and many were forced to build the Burma Railway. Following work one day, the prisoners’ tools were collected, and a guard noticed a shovel was missing. He angrily demanded the guilty man identify himself. Nobody moved. As the guard aimed his rifle at the prisoners, a man stepped forward, and the guard clubbed him to death. When the work party returned to the camp, the tools were counted again, and all the shovels were accounted for. One man humbly sacrificed himself to save the others.
Regard others more important than yourself; don’t be selfish or conceited.
Ever hear the expression “Look out for number one”? Of course, number one would be you. We’re told if you don’t look out for yourself, nobody else will. Paul teaches just the opposite.
Pride led to Satan’s downfall. Now he tempts us to focus on ourselves and ignore others. Our decisions and actions are motivated largely by what we consider best for ourselves. Paul tells us we must lay aside our own comfort and desires and elevate others in importance.
True humility requires self-awareness
There is a big difference between true humility and simply pandering. Mr. Kalanick has, to his credit, issued seemly sincere apologies and taken steps to change his leadership style.
My great hope is that these words are motivated by a sense of self-awareness and are not simply a response to the public outcry.
A lack of self-awareness is a trait that most people who behave badly (in any capacity) have in common. More often than not, the perpetrators of aggressive or tone-deaf actions are motivated by subconscious drivers and fail to understand the damage they cause to their relationships and organizations.
On the flip side, when individuals are self-aware enough to recognize their mistakes, people tend to be pretty forgiving
The first step towards self-awareness is to recognize and be open about the things that cause stress, anxiety, and negativity in your life.
From there, it’s possible to accept that sometimes you’re just plain wrong. One of the most admirable and useful traits for entrepreneurs is the ability to admit your mistakes and move forward.
Be empathetic and don’t be afraid to show mercy
All too often, we separate our business from our personal lives. While someone may be kind, generous, and merciful in private, they often face pressure to behave differently when running their businesses.
You cannot separate your personal and public personas. Who you are in private is who you need to be in public. That means that concepts like empathy can and should bleed into the realm of business.
The humble leader is able to be empathetic to those in their charge. For Mr. Kalanick, that means that he must drop the combative approach he is known for and instead listen when confronted.
In short, always treat people the way you want to be treated. I know, it sounds simplistic and trite, but you can never go wrong with the Golden Rule.
I believe there is a tremendous empathy deficit in our modern society, and its impact is far-reaching. Embracing empathy in thought, word, and deed doesn’t mean that you have to be a bleeding heart in the business.
Empathy is central to building healthy relationships with team members, clients, and partners. I believe that when you rarely go wrong when you put others first. The payoff might not be immediate, but it is definitely worthwhile.
Self-awareness, humility, and empathy are things that are in short supply these days, and that is truly tragic.