Humility occupies many definitions in my mind. I think of it as recognizing my own deficiency and trusting in God's sufficiency. I think of the meaning through rejoicing when someone else is being rewarded. It can mean yielding to someone else's interests besides my own. I have also heard humility defined as sacrificing my own rights in place of someone else's. It is described as putting myself aside for the sake of another person. Humility is forgetting myself long enough to reach out a helping hand to someone in need. Lastly, my favorite definition of humility is lowering myself to the status of someone else while not forgetting who or whose child I am. One of my favorite quotes says, "Humility isn't thinking less of yourself but thinking about yourself less" (anonymous). God gave me the desire and the ability to be humble, yet I must recognize the powerful message that is stored beneath the layers of humility before I can absorb it into my personality. All of these definitions above represent a piece in being humble, and I should have a full understanding of them before I can truly understand what it means to put myself last in everything I do.
When I think of humility, I think of compromise. A compromise is an intermediate agreement by which differences are settled. One of the greatest challenges I face in humility is going beyond the compromise. I tend to settle arguments with a mutual conclusion with myself in the front of my mind. When I want something, I put myself first before anything else, and I want that to change. Starting today, I am going to try to think about everyone, everything else before I even consider what I want.
Humility is a key piece of hope for unity within families, friends, acquaintances, and even strangers. Fellowship in the Spirit requires the ability to be humble and learn about Jesus together with everyone who is growing alongside. When I am humble and let other people jump ahead of me, I end up finishing farther behind than I normally would have. In a way, it is a feeling of comfort, knowing that I made a difference in someone else's life, even if it was only for a brief moment during humility. Jesus tells us to work as one, through Him, with one mind and purpose. If I avoid the craving to try and impress others, I can therefore have the mindset to think of others better than I think of myself.
Humility allows God's power to work through me and develop mature qualities within my heart that convey God's message to other people. I have thought of the question words recently, such as who, where, what, and why. I try to fill in the blanks before I make a decision so that I know I am doing what is best by analyzing all of my choices. When I fill in the blanks for humility, I conclude this:
- Who: God
- Where: In me
- What: Working
- Why: To spread His message of salvation
So...that's my understanding of humility so far in this life. I am sure that my definitions will grow in depth as I mature and grow older. As for now, these are my thoughts, and I hope they encourage you to define your own meaning of humility and how you practice it!