There is an old saying that goes, “My strengths come from my weaknesses.” Many people would have difficulty in understanding the meaning of that, but it is true and it has its roots in humility. Unfortunately, humility is a constant struggle for me, and probably for many other people as well. Some people don’t even know how to be humble.
The opposite of being humble is to be prideful. It is likely that you’ve known quite a few prideful people. Prideful people have a tendency of thinking that their thoughts and beliefs are the only right ones and the only ones that make any difference. The more prideful a person is, the less apt they are to ask questions and to seek advice. Doing so forces them to be humbler, by the mere act of asking. Prideful people have a tendency to feel superior to others rather than wanting to help others.
A well-known, fairly accurate, and deserved trait of most men, and I’m including myself, is to not ask for directions. We will sometimes drive many miles out of our way and have to backtrack when it would have been far simpler if we’d simply stopped and asked someone how to get where we wanted to go. Though men don’t think about it in this way, this is pride in action. To ask for directions would be humbling.
Women are also often prideful. They will argue vigorously about something that has very little importance. This is a point of pride and men will do the same thing. However, what men are less apt to do is to get upset or bothered if they go to some social gathering and see another woman wearing the same outfit. This is a point of pride and most men don’t understand it because to us, it is no big deal.
People who lack humility are also among the first to tout their accomplishments. They are often braggarts, even if they don’t recognize it. Society actually encourages this and often tells us to be proud of our work. The problem is that this centers everything on ourselves and neglects to admit that absolutely nothing that we do is done without the help of others at some point.
I have the ability to make a fantastic meal out of normally-bland food. If I make such a meal, though, I can’t take full credit for it. My mother taught me and encouraged me to cook in my childhood. I spent a lot of time in a restaurant, cooking and learning. Countless people have pointed out a flaw in something I’ve cooked and I’ve learned from that. Acknowledging that takes humility and since that is the opposite of pride, I cannot honestly take pride in one of those dishes.
I sometimes feel prideful about the conditions of the flowerbeds at church. However, I should never be that way. The church gave me the opportunity. Some unbelievers might not agree, but God also had a huge amount to do with my success in the flowerbeds. I’ve been able to plant and grow flowers that any master gardener would say were impossible to grow in those conditions. I’ve grown annuals that have come back every year for four years now. That defies the definition of an annual. Many of the flowers are still blooming, despite temperatures well below freezing and snow. These are not hardy flowers and they shouldn’t still be blooming. Frankly, this has nothing to do with any expertise or effort on my part. I’m a mediocre gardener at best.
For me, humility is a constant struggle and a work in progress. It is something that I may never master. However, in all truthfulness, I can humbly say that my strengths come from my weaknesses.
Do you ever stuggle with remaining humble?
I don’t even try
I’m constantly trying to remain humble.