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The Essence of Humility

by Greg Baker  
12/01/2010 / Christian Living

Humility is often an unrecognizable quality in one's self. You cannot achieve humility by trying to be humble, simply because the effort to be humble requires you to be anything but humble.

Humility is the absence of pride and ego. Achieving humility is not about suppressing your pride, or hiding your egowhich is what most of us do in an effort to be humble. But merely hiding it is not true humility.

This, interestingly enough, really struck home one day while I was watching the old TV series 'Gomer Plye USMC'. They portray Gomer as somewhat of an idiot, but a happy, joyful, and fun loving guy. He is so devoid of pride and ego that he cannot even recognize an insult when one is delivered. His sergeant once yelled, "Pyle, my 80 year old grandmother can run faster than you!" To which Pyle replied in awe, "Well bless her heart!"

Not even recognizing and insult is true evidence of humility. When you do not even realize that someone failed to recognize your skills, talents, and abilities, when you no longer even notice that you are the last one picked for a team, and when you can get excited that someone else has taken credit for your work, then you will have achieved true humility.

Interestingly enough, when you reach this point, you will not even know it. It will not even be something you think about. To say, 'I am humble' is not humility. Your pride and ego are still there.

There is a verse in the Bible that says: 'Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.' Proverbs 13:10. Any time you get upset, hurt, feel insulted, feel cheated, or have any other contentious feeling, it is because of pride. If you are devoid of pride and ego, you would not even know to get offended.

The goal, therefore, is not to be humble. It is to make a concerted effort to empty yourself of pride and ego. Only in so doing can a person actually be humble.

The more pride and ego you allow in your life, the more offence you will take, the more contention there will be in your life. Gomer nearly always had a smile. He never got hurt over an insult or even being yelled at. The only time he was hurt was when he felt he had somehow hurt someone else.

Think about this, the only way to recognize selfishness is through selfishness. If you have no selfish bone in your body, you will not interpret other people's actions as selfish. Our pride and ego is what interprets so much of what other people do and say. If you do not have it, you will assume differently.

Your life will be a lot more joyful and fun when you can empty yourself of pride and ego.

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