Without my staff and employees, our company would not be where it is today. – A CEO after a successful product launch
I’m only as good as my offensive line and teammates; they make me better. – Super bowl winning quarterback
I’m truly sorry I spoke to you the way I did, it was out of line, and I hope you can forgive me. – A mom speaking to her child after an argument
Can you spot humility when you see it?
When lived out in pure form, humility is one of the most beautiful characteristics of humanity. Simultaneously, it’s also one of the most difficult characteristics to submit to. I believe we can all practice humility if we desire; that’s why I suggested it’s something we can choose to submit to. Choosing humility is making the decision to hang up our ego and not take credit. It means not submitting to our fleshly desires, and instead, laying down our lives for the sake of resolution. Humility has no pride, and pride has no humility; they are in direct competition with one another.
Above all else, humility is recognizing that God is our Provider, Savior, and Lord and there is nothing we can do apart from Him.
Have you ever opened your phone’s Bible app and searched for the word “humility?” I dare you to do it. It’s everywhere! Seriously, the Bible is full of passages and contextual stories of servant leaders with humility. Starting with Jesus himself, we see that God humbles himself by putting on the skin of a man to live with us, his people. The Bible says that he came to serve, not to be served. Seriously, what other King would leave his throne in order to serve and wash the feet of his very own creation? Only a humble King…
We read that God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. In another place, we are encouraged to not try to impress others, but be humble, and think of others as better than ourselves. I can go on all day…
So how does this play out in our lives?
Some think that in difficult conversations that sharing how you truly feel and opening yourself up is humility. That’s actually vulnerability. Vulnerability is the act of having courage to communicate from within and even opening yourself up to a place of potential wound. Humility and vulnerability are not the same, but they can certainly be seen together. A person communicating from a vulnerable place is stepping toward intimacy and connection in relationship, but may or may not be in a state of humility while doing so. Likewise, the reacting person may or may not respond in humility or vulnerability. All that being said, vulnerability can often times help each person in conflict come to a place of humility.
Typically, in any conflict whether it be at the home, work, or sports field, there are disagreements that arise. Some light, and some very strong. After conflict, when and if humility shows up by someone, then we typically see forgiveness and finally a resolution.
So it goes….Conflict….Humility….Forgiveness….Resolution.
Hopefully, that is. Humans can respond pridefully even when handed humility. That’s the risk, but we also gain maturity in the process. Again, Jesus was the humblest of them all….a servant leader.
But, how do we do it?