That person really cares about me.

7 Feb

Humility.

What is that really?  How does that look on someone? Am “I” truly humble?  Can it be faked? How do you know it’s genuine?

I’m unloading this actually REALLY big word and trying to get to the bottom of some of these questions.

This subject has been on my mind all week since the pastor said this during his sermon on Sunday.

When you have an encounter with a TRULY humble person, you don’t walk away saying “Wow, that person is humble.”  You walk away saying “Wow, that person was really interested in me.”  Humility is not seen in downplaying your gifts and talents, it’s seen in being so concerned about others, that you never even realized you didn’t talk about yourself.

I think the world has some-what adopted this idea that humility is in how someone talks about themselves, who they give credit to for their success, and how they describe their peers with similar talents/gifts.

The more I’ve thought about the world’s impression on us of humility and compared it to how scripture talks about humility, I think we’re missing the mark.

Scripture doesn’t say “Practice how you talk about yourself, reminding yourself and others of your lowly position and grateful attitude.”

I don’t see phrases like:

“Oh my, you’re so kind, but I can’t take the credit. God gets all the glory.”

“I’m so honored.  But compared to my colleagues, I’m hiding in their shadows.”

“You think?  I guess I don’t think I have that great of a gift.  I just enjoy doing this.”

Scripture says:

-“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” (Philippians 2:3-4)

We see here that in humility we value others above ourselves.  Not necessarily because we confess with our mouth that their talents are better than ours, but because we’re busy looking out for their best interests.

– “Humility is the fear of the Lord; its wages are riches and honor and life.” (Proverbs 22:4)

We see here that humility is the fear of the Lord, not necessarily broadcasting His praises when we’re talking about ourselves. (Though please don’t misunderstand that I’m suggesting we shouldn’t confess that every good thing in us comes from God because it DOES and we should share that amazing news with others!) I’m merely making the point that humility is the fear of the Lord lived out by keeping His commands — the two greatest being to love Him with ALL our hearts and TO LOVE OTHERS. It’s not in training ourselves to vocally acknowledge Him.

– “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” (Colossians 3:12)

Here we see that compassion, kindness, gentleness and patience are all attributes for how we TREAT OTHERS, so humility wouldn’t fit in this sequences of commands if it was about how we should talk, act and acknowledge ourselves.  Humility is a GIFT we give others by putting them above ourselves and dying to the natural love we carry for ourselves.  Just like our natural desire to be judgmental, cruel, harsh and impatient as antonyms of the other items listed in that verse.

– “These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings. 23 Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.” (Colossians 2:22-23)

Here we can see that humility can be false.  If the true motives of our hearts is set on becoming humble and not on attaining humility through the command of loving others above ourselves, we’ve done nothing more than learn to talk and say the right things to appear humble.

This is tough.

To be honest, I’m not humble.

I have little patience, I am not gentle when I’m being constantly requested by my family to do this or that for them when I’d rather be doing something I want to do, I am not compassionate toward my husband when I feel like my feelings are hurt (my feelings trump his in the heat of the moment) And I am not kind when I grow hungry or exhausted and desire a break from life.

Sometimes I tap into the power of the spirit inside of me to live out these fruits of the spirit better than other times.  But the truth is, WHEN I seek the path of humility through Christ’s example of becoming last and serving EVERYONE (yes, even those whom I dislike) above myself, the spirit moves through me freely without the resistance of my flesh, because I’ve died to it.

If death was something we attained once, we’d all be so much better off.  But dying to our flesh is a daily activity for us.

Maybe this will help us know what we’re really striving for when we seek to be humble. I know I needed this realization.

Practical Application:

Spend some time searching the words humble and humility in Scripture.

Consider the attitude of humility as something that happens automatically as we follow God’s commands to love others above ourselves instead of things we say with our mouths about ourselves, others, and God.  It’s something we cloth ourselves with and not something we learn to say.

When you’re looking for humility in others, look for the way they love and treat other people and less about the words they say.

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10 Responses to “That person really cares about me.”

  1. Elisha February 7, 2014 at 3:15 pm #

    i struggle with humility often. It’s our flesh and I have to always remember to keep it in check. thanks for this post!

    waitingforbabybird.com

    • Kayla Gulick February 7, 2014 at 4:14 pm #

      I do really well being merciful toward others sins… but I’m still very selfish with my interests and my time. It’s hard to put others ahead of yourself 24/7! I’m so glad God’s mercies are new every day!!!! I need lots of forgiveness in this area for sure!

  2. Joe Passkiewicz February 7, 2014 at 4:45 pm #

    Thanks for the post Kayla! Humility is a slippery slope. We can fool ourselves in thinking that we are being humble when we are actually gathering praise and gaining attention for acting humble. It is a heart issue. I think humility is really about surrender. TRULY believing in God’s truths and seeing your value as He sees you. Letting go of the wheel! Thanks for your post- I needed the reminder!

    • Kayla Gulick February 7, 2014 at 5:59 pm #

      You nailed it with the idea that we can fool ourselves! Thanks for adding that thought and enriching the post with more insights and wisdom!

  3. Elizabeth February 7, 2014 at 10:49 pm #

    Really enjoyed this thought provoking post, Kayla. I’m reminded of Charles Dickens character named Uriah Heep (in David Copperfield), a law clerk who sought to ingratiate himself with his employer and others with frequent and exaggerated reminders to everyone that he was only “a ‘umble clerk.” All the while he was embezzling funds from his employer. Those who present themselves in this manner today, even if they don’t directly mention their humility, seem equally insincere. I’m reminded of the advice I give my students to help them write well: “SHOW (with evidence), don’t tell.” Actions mean so much more than hollow pronouncements or a superficial appearance of righteousness. I truly appreciate the good reasoning you used on the cited scriptures, Kayla. Thank you!

    • Kayla Gulick February 8, 2014 at 2:25 pm #

      I hope my kids really discover the truth behind actions speaks louder than words. I know I forget that so much about myself. I tell my kids not to lose their temper, but when I show the example of doing it myself… I become a hypocrite when I correct them for doing it.

  4. howsyourlovelife February 8, 2014 at 11:25 am #

    This is so good. I definitely have thought of humility as not bringing glory to oneself. That’s just not the whole picture. Thank you for this!

    • Kayla Gulick February 8, 2014 at 2:30 pm #

      You’re welcome. I am discovering more and more that I tend to even study scripture through my “American Mindset” and that I have to depend on the spirit to stir truth in me, or else I miss the real depth of God’s purpose for me. If He doesn’t open my eyes, I remain ignorant and unholy. If that doesn’t remind me of my dependency on Him, I don’t know what could!

  5. Melissa February 11, 2014 at 2:26 pm #

    I’ve struggled with this concept my whole life, because I’ve (wrongfully) considered humility to be “thinking less of oneself in order to think more of others”. But thinking less of myself is to criticize and think little of what God has created. I’ve discovered that thinking of myself often – even (especially?) in a negative light – is so incredibly prideful, and it’s something I have to seek after God for DAILY (if not hourly!) to help me overcome my pride and lack of humility.

    • Kayla Gulick February 11, 2014 at 2:35 pm #

      You’re SO not alone in this battle!!! Be encouraged friend that just seeing this for what it is and putting it into words like you were just able to do shows so much growth and maturity that you’re making HUGE progress… even if you feel like you still have a long way to go. I appreciate you sharing your heart and being real here!

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