Think Humbly

I think we could all use a little more humility in our life. After all, we don’t have all the answers. We are not infallible. We’re not omniscient.

Hopefully, your mind changes a lot about a lot of different things.

It is because of this that when we look at real-life events, say when someone holds a belief you can’t get down with or there is a dramatic conversion of a public figure. We can be quick to judge.

Should we judge? I think accountability is a better word. That, however, is a subject saved for a different day.

The reality is we all hold opinions, much of which will change. Even some of the things that you hold onto as firm truths will probably shift if not completely flip within your lifetime.

This is why humility is so necessary.

We often stand in judgement of those who hold the opposite opinion of us. Whether it be political, theological, methodological, metaphysical, etc. and view those on the opposite side as the enemy. I hear things like, “I can’t believe someone would believe that” often. While there are some parameters, I can make the logical assumption I will never go there, many of the disagreements in the world are merely perspective.

I like how Russell Brand defines humility in his book Recovery,

“Humility is the acknowledgement of our relative insignificance—our insignificance when compared to the infinite, or even all the other people currently alive.”

We must always remember that our perspective is just that, our perspective. It holds as much value as anyone else’s. The Raniero Cantalamessa, the papal priest, points out that as Christians, we only have one posture,

“Humility reestablishes the truth about ourselves; it acknowledges that our place is not over others but under them.”

If we are to be servants first, it means that we are not to lord over others, forcing our opinions upon them. In humility and with the posture of a servant, we are to seek to understand where others are coming from. After all, isn’t that what Jesus did?

Jesus said,

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Mark 10:45

If Jesus came to serve, how much more should we? The thing is, we cannot serve people we are judging. We cannot love people who we view as disrepute. We must humble ourselves and see others as humans. Not objectifying them to an opinion, side, or any other category we can conjure, but seeing them as children of God, who like us are broken, get some things wrong and get some things right.

We need to take the approach of High Middle Ages German-Dutch theologian Thomas von Kempis who penned,

“If you have any good qualities, believe that other people have better ones.”

If we had this approach, maybe there would be less fighting and more understanding. Maybe there would be less name-calling and more serving. Maybe we would cast others aside less and embrace more.

Humility is hard. It’s difficult to admit you don’t have all the answers, or at least all the right ones. When we see ourselves and others for what we are, children of God, not perfect but loved, every interaction will begin to change. If we let humility change our life, it can change the world.

Check out the resources used in this post


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