C.S. Lewis defines humility in the following way… “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less.” This definition addresses the common misconception that humility is having a low self-opinion.
Humility is not so much about worth as about intent.
Humility speaks to the question of whether we are living our lives for ourselves or for others. Someone who is truly humble is living their lives to some degree for those around them. People caught up in their own pride are living solely for themselves.
While there may be occasions in which God will bring about events in our lives that will humble us, Peter tells us that overall, we are to humble ourselves. Just like pride is an attitude, humility is also an attitude…an attitude focused outside us.
Humility goes against our natural desires. The tricky part about humility is that if you seek it, you are going to fail because you are seeking something for yourself.
Humility comes not by seeking it, but by seeking the good of others.
Our ability to be humble is enhanced as we truly recognize that we live “…under the mighty hand of God.” It is God who is in control, not us. As physicians, we are constantly faced with the temptation to believe that we are the ones in control of our patient’s health and recovery. Instead, we should remind ourselves that it is the Lord who is in control.
We play a role in the lives of our patients, our family, and our friends, and God gives us that role. To the extent that we can put aside our own agenda and seek God’s agenda, we will increase our potential to have a real impact in the lives of those around us.
Then, at the time the Lord ordains, He will exalt us. It may be in this life, or the life that lies beyond the grave. Regardless, we can be assured that He is aware of our efforts on the part of others and will reward us eventually.
Prayer: Lord help me move beyond my natural inclination to think only of myself, and begin to open my eyes to the needs of those around me.