Some years ago, I wrote an article on the essence of humility. I talked about the fact that humility is a matter of facing reality – the reality that, left to our own devices, we don’t do life very well. Hence the need for a higher power, or a saviour, to get us out of our mess.
To me, humility is about being self-forgetful. How hard is that? I find that the more I think about it, it is an issue of trust. When I don’t forget myself in the sense that Jesus meant, I am clinging on to my way of doing things and therefore not trusting. This elusive thing called humility is about not focusing on yourself.
Becoming Christlike has nothing to do with navel-gazing and everything to do with gazing on Christ and seeing reality through the fog of life. The irony though, and what catches many of us out, is that, as soon as you think you’re becoming more humble, you’re not, because you’re focusing on yourself again.
Humility really is about denying yourself. Humble people never think of themselves as humble. A friend once said to me that the closer you are to God, often the more you will be aware of your imperfections. Christian psychologist Larry Crabb says that if you ask a mature person when they last sinned they will smile the smile of a broken but healing person.