Walking In Humility

Gentle Christian Parenting - Humility

Looking back over yesterday I find myself having tripped over my pride many times – when a stranger walked by as the baby was crying, when I snapped at my son for turning off the printer mid-printing, when I ducked into my room to change clothes because a friend stopped over. Yet, I was supposed to have spent the last week focusing on humility – teaching & being an example to my children.

Before I continue, I’d like to review the definition of humility as I see it. I feel like we’ve culturally lost clarity on the meaning being humble. Some take it to mean that you are “down on yourself.” Some confuse it with “honored”, as in “I’m so humbled to receive this award.” 

I asked my kids if they knew what humility means.
My 7 year old said, “What’s that?”
My 11 year old said, “It’s being embarrassed.”
I was humbled.
Apparently I’d done a poor job getting it across.

I told them,

“Humility means believing that what God says about you is more important than what anyone else says about you, including what you think about yourself.”

My daughter asked, “What about what you say about me?”
I said,  “Yes, God’s opinion is more important than what mama and daddy say about you.”

Then I asked them, “Why do you think its more important to believe what God says about you than anyone else?”
My 11 year old responded, “Because He’s the one who actually knows you and sees the good and bad.”
My 7 year old said, “He’s in control of the Universe.”
They were both right..

The all-knowing Creator of the Universe can make better judgments than you or anyone else can about who is more important. 

Far from being a burden, humility is a blessing that lightens your load.

It takes takes the pressure off to look good in front of other people. Their opinions mean little to you in comparison to what God says.  

It builds you up. God values and loves you more than anyone else is capable. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. In Christ, you are a new creation. And because of this, you can approach the throne of God with confidence

If you are confident, you have no need to vie for position, no need to posture, or try to control. You can let go of any focus on yourself and your position. 

As C.S. Lewis said,

“Humility not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.”

Gentle Christian Parenting - Humility

There are so many more benefits to embracing humility, but I’d like to just address one more, it’s beneficial effect on relationships. Being humble means being teachable. Learning and receiving allow us to be filled up and built up. An over-inflated sense of self importance on the other hand, can put in a state of always trying to live up to our perception of ourselves. It can turn us into workaholics and perfectionists who have no room or energy to grow in the areas where it matters most. On the other hand, when we allow others to work, to serve, and to care for us, we honor the value of what they have to offer. Being teachable means we listen to others have to say. Humility is essential to healthy balanced relationships.

So my baby crying – I would do better by the baby to think less of myself and think instead of what she needs.

The friend who stopped by is probably more interested in if I’m hospitable, than what I’m wearing.

And my son, if I paused and asked (which I did later). I would’ve understood that he thought the printer had gone off on accident and was trying to help out by turning it off. I would’ve seen his attempt at thoughtfulness, instead of snapping because he got in the way of my productivity.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not feeling down on myself, but I’m seeing there’s benefits to doing it differently next time – to pausing, thinking of myself less, and being teachable.

How are you cultivating a culture of humility in your home?

Edited to add Lauren Daigle’s song – so on point with this post.


 

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21 Comments

  1. Melissa Henderson says:

    I paused to think about my day and how many times I could have handled a situation with more humility. Thank you for this reminder to think less about myself and more about others. 🙂

    1. Christina Dronen says:

      I think pausing & reflecting is a great way to find areas that we could grow & do better in – in all areas, but especially humility.

  2. Anneliese Dalaba says:

    Excellent post. I can definitely do better. There is room for improvement. 🙂

    1. Christina Dronen says:

      Well, if you ever get to the point where you think there is no room for improvement, you’ve probably completely failed. Haha. 🙂

  3. Deb Gardner Allard says:

    I loved this post. It is spot on about humility. Thank you for posting.

    1. Christina Dronen says:

      Glad it was helpful for you.
      Thank you for commenting. 🙂

  4. Jessica Brodie says:

    God’s opinion is more important than anything! Love this. Great post.

    1. Christina Dronen says:

      Thank you!
      Yes – we probably need to continually remind ourselves what that opinion is – what God declares about us. I know I need to.

  5. Humility is not a default human trait. I think we need Jesus in our lives to become truly humble and it takes our whole life 😉

    1. Christina Dronen says:

      Yes, we absolutely need Jesus (our identity!) and I can’t imagine anyone really gets to be fully as humble as Christ – but there is value in continually pursuing it. 🙂

  6. Nancy E. Head says:

    It’s so important that we heed God’s view of ourselves. That we are unique, eternal, and redeemed by His tremendous sacrifice.
    And that we stand among a sea of other humans so loved–whether redeemed or yet to be redeemed.

    1. Christina Dronen says:

      Amen Nancy!
      We are fearfully and wonderfully made in God’s image and greatly valued by Him! And those declarations are made in the Bible about all – not just those who are in Christ.
      How much more confidence we can have though with Christ.

  7. Yvonne Morgan says:

    All around us we find the world trying to teach us not to be humble. TV commercials, books, magazines all point us towards elevating ourselves instead of being humble. Thanks Christina for reminding us of the importance of being Christ like in our humility.

    1. Christina Dronen says:

      It’s true – our culture teaches us to find our identity in many things – consumerism, self, etc But those are far and away far poorer than what God says about us.

  8. Marcie Craamsey says:

    Great post! I love the definition of humility that you present:
    “Humility means believing that what God says about you is more important than what anyone else says about you, including what you think about yourself.”
    In a world where we are so concerned about what others think we often neglect to care about what God thinks. Your kids have great answers too! Love how you include them in your study of humility. 🙂

    1. Christina Dronen says:

      Thanks Marcie!
      I figure if I can get the kids to put their identity in Christ and embrace humility they’ll be far better off as they go on in life.

  9. Stephen De La Vega says:

    Hi Christina. I’ve definitely had my share of less patient, more self-serving moments. Still do. Glad you’re not beating yourself up over this. Certainly what we do in the aftermath is significant. I like your definition of humility. Put into practice, it demonstrates another great quality of our Savior. Thank you for this encouragement.

    1. Christina Dronen says:

      Hey Stephen,
      Glad it’s not just me! I feel like humility is such a difficult virtue to pursue & evaluate in one’s self. We need to encourage & remind each other continually to turn to Christ.

  10. Melinda Viergever Inman says:

    My mantra is: God’s opinion of me is the only one that matters. So, I really resonated with this post, Christina. We all like to look good. We all have a degree of pride. We all misjudge other people, particularly those we interact with the most, like husband and our kids. We all place our own selfish needs above others. We’re so flawed, and yet God. His love, his view of us, his grace in spite of our flaws – these are the essentials. Thanks for adding Laura Daigle on top of this awesome post!

    1. Christina Dronen says:

      That is a great mantra, Melinda!
      We are so flawed on our own, but so loved and so empowered by Christ.
      And yes – I ran across that song right after posting this – and realized it was a perfect companion to this post. 🙂

  11. I absolutely love this! It made me think on things that I have pushed to the back of my mind.

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