Humility or Humiliation
Pride, as defined on Dictionary.com, is a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc. It’s not only thinking, but also acting, as if you are all that, and a bag of chips.
It’s good to have a healthy sense of self. But pride is an unhealthy sense of self. Pride is thinking more of yourself than you ought.
The headwaters of pride form when you lack an understanding and a recognition of what God and others have done in your life and continue to do in your life. The current begins to run downstream when you believe that you are all you need. That you are it. That the universe revolves around you. That you have what you have and you are what you are, because of nobody else but yourself. The waterfall comes (and the waterfall always comes) when you can no longer maintain your position as the end all and be all of your life.
God is giving you a choice between humility and humiliation. You can either take the steps necessary in your life to recognize, acknowledge and honor what God and others have done. Or you can continue to ignore what and who has come before you, and is working all around you in this very moment.
The former is a life of humility. A life focused on thankfulness, gratitude and service. A life that isn’t all about you. A life lived in such a way that lifts others up, as opposed to tearing them down.
The latter is a life of humiliation. A life focused on self. A life where you actually believe that everyone else is below you or indebted to you in some way. A life of constantly flaunting yourself in front of everyone and anyone.
God has given you the freedom to live the life you choose. But never forget, the life you choose, pride or humility, is known to everyone you meet. Everyone will know your choice because of your behaviors. Your actions will always reveal what you believe. Or did you actually believe that everyone else also thought that the universe revolved around you? Everyone knows that you are either prideful or humble.
Here’s the catch, you can be prideful in your humility. This means that you play humble, so that you will be lifted up. Your humility is simply a means of feeding your pride. This is what is called false humility.
False humility is pride in disguise. You practice false humility when you intentionally devalue yourself or your contributions, in attempt to appear humble. So that, in turn, you will be lifted up by others. This desire to be lifted up by others is the motivation for your behaviors. Pride is the want to, that is behind all false humility.
Humility or pride aren’t a means to an end. Humility and pride aren’t what you do. They are characteristics of who you are. You don’t act humble in order to get something. You act humble because you are humble. If your humility is something that you do in order to get something else – recognition, praise, honor – than you aren’t humble. You are prideful.
Likewise, you don’t act prideful in order to get something. In fact, the majority of prideful people will deny that they are even prideful. You act out of pride, because prideful is who you are.
So, are you questioning right now if you are prideful or humble? Good. That’s a very important question for all of us to ask.
In asking this question let’s all agree that our answers aren’t about condemnation or congratulations. Your answer is simply that, your answer. Not good. Not bad. Just real. And whatever your answer, allow God to meet you there.
Today, take a deep dive into the river that is your life. Is the current of your river, the motivations in your life, centered around you or around God and others?
– Do you act as if the universe revolves around you? That everyone should be grateful to have you in their world?
– Do you believe that everything you have and everything you are is the result of only your efforts, your talents and your giftedness?
– Are you good at acknowledging others in your life?
– Are you good at lifting others up, shining a light on their accomplishments, talents and contributions?
– Do you get jealous when others succeed?
– Have you ever acted humble, so that you would be lifted up for your humility?
The choice is yours whether or not you answer these questions truthfully. It’s a matter of consequences with which we all must deal. Do you want to live a life of humility or a life of humiliation? If humility, then I suggest you take your answers seriously. If humiliation, then don’t change a thing.