Saturday, February 25, 2006

It's Hard To Be Humble

There is a country and western song, I believe it is by Merle Haggard, which goes "Oh Lord, it's hard to be humble..." Loathe as I am to agree with anything country, I have in this case little choice. It isn't that I think I am perfect in every way. No one who knows me would suggest that, and I do have my two boys who, in their youthful honesty, remind me daily of my shortcomings.

No, the reason I find it hard to be humble is because I find it hard to know what being humble means. Some people seem to think that being humble means you having to constantly downplay your strengths, or at least remain silent about them. If you are not self-deprecating, or if you speak of your strengths, then you aren't humble. I haven't quite figured out why. Perhaps it is because of an assumption that self-promotion is inherently egotistical. Maybe it is because it is believed that to speak well of yourself is to automatically imply a commensurate negative assessment of others.

This is, in my opinion, neither a healthy nor a biblical view of humility. I believe that a healthy humility is one that sees a person have a balanced, sensible, and sober assessment of his or her strengths and weaknesses. Both can be spoken of, and with equal ease. In the case of the strengths, they are spoken of with due deference to the Lord who gave them. In the case of weaknesses, they are spoken of with due concession that these will be dealt with by that same Lord.

Too restrictive a view of humility denies us the chance to celebrate what God has done. Let us not go that route.

1 comment:

whirligirl said...

it's actually by mac davis.
don't ask me how/why i know that. i have no answer for you.