Humility – The Mother of Virtues
It goes by an assortment of names: the flesh, pride, selfishness, conceit, a haughty spirit, but however you want to slice it, pride is embedded in each human and it is the cause of all sin.
If pride is our weakness, common disease, or, “Achilles heal” of every person who would seek to live a godly life in Christ Jesus, then humility is the antidote, the cure, the hope of a selfish heart.
“He has scattered the proud and haughty ones. He has brought down princes from their thrones and exalted the humble.” Luke 1:51-52
In an age where pride is highly prized it can be difficult to know what true humility really looks like and how pride can be so bad, so polar opposite of humility.
Being proud of a relative who served their country, a well-earned report card or a good shot made in a game after a lifetime of practice in the driveway, is different from the selfish conceit that makes you think you are better than others.
“Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.” Romans 12:3
Sinful pride stems from wrongly estimating yourself, thinking you are better than you really are. Humility, on the other hand, is more outward focused, more concerned with serving and doing good for others than inflating a perception of my own value or authority.
“Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.” Philippians 2:3-4
Humility isn’t looking down on yourself or deflecting praise in self-depreciation. Humility isn’t moping around as a worthless sinner with zero self-esteem. This isn’t humility. Acting humble doesn’t make you humble. Humility isn’t inward focused, it see’s life through a different lens.
Humility is viewing your life and others, all of creation, through the viewpoint of God, through the eyes of Jesus. And then surrendering yourself to love your neighbor and do good accordingly, as Jesus did.
“You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:5-11
There is no good deed that is below the humble servant of Christ, no person or part of God’s creation unworthy of our care and godly compassion. Christ redeemed the world. Humility is simply faithful to love and serve in the redemption field without regard to self or personal gain.
The simple life of humility creates the rich soil of perspective needed to excel in every good and worthy pursuit and in this way humility is the mother of all virtues.