Tuesday, June 5, 2012

True Humility vs False Modesty

It has been my pleasure to be acquainted with a few people in my life who know what true humility is.
If you’ve ever met Tim, you know what I’m talking about.  Tim was my boss several years ago.  By just being around him you knew he was a loving husband, a doting father/grandfather, a dedicated, hard working leader as well as a great supervisor and now my forever brother-in-Christ.  His daily attitude spoke volumes about his character.  He never had to tell you his beliefs, everything he did or said was based on his faith in Christ.  I learned a lot about servant leadership by simply observing how he related to others.  To this day, he’ll tell you he should have worked harder, he could have done better, etc – and there is no false modesty there, he honestly doesn’t know the impact he has on others.
Also, if you’ve met Brian, you know what I mean.  Brian is my step-son; smart as a whip, kind, considerate, fun…and a walking advertisement for Christ.  I’ve never heard him say one negative or disparaging thing about someone else. (I’m not saying he’s never done it, just that I’ve never heard him do it.)  There is something very “genuine” about Brian.   He lives for and loves Christ.  He doesn’t hide his faith and he’s willing to talk to anyone about it at anytime.  When he talks to you or does something for you, there’s nothing ‘false’.
On the other hand:
I’ve witnessed my fair share of false modesty (I’m even guilty of it).
You know?  Those times when we make excuses or belittle a compliment instead of simply saying “thank you”.
-          Nice poem, I liked it.                    “Nothing special, anybody can do it.”
-          Great job on the report!                 “I put some data together, no big deal, it only took 3 days.”
-          Dinner was yummy!                      “It’s a new recipe, I’m sure I can do better.”
-          Thanks for babysitting!                  “It was nothing.”
I’d like to say I do this when I’m trying not to be vain, but in honesty I do it so I will hear “Yes it is a big deal” or “No, really, thanks so much”.  I stress a bit (OK, a lot) on what others think of me & tend to rely a bit too much on the accolades of others.  I always cringe inside when I catch myself doing this. I recently realized something; if God gives me an ability to share, a gift to use or time to benefit others and I downplay it, then I’m doing Him a disservice.  He deserves acknowledgement for anything and everything I’m capable of.  Just like the examples of Tim & Brian above.  I’ve been working on this and trying to do better by simply accepting a comment or compliment: 
-          Your poem was great, it really spoke to me.  “Thank you so much, I really felt the Holy Spirit moving me to write it.”

Still Stressed but mostly Blessed,

1 comment:

Breenah said...

I'm guilty of it too. Sometimes it's because I subconsciously want more praise and sometimes it is because I really am not sure if whatever it is is as good as people say it is.
I hope you followed that sentence, haha.