I was reading a post of a blog I frequent and the author was discussing the need to do away with false humility and accept not just her failings but her abilities without being self-deprecating.
I started thinking about the habit many of us have as Christian women. We are complimented on something we’ve done–taught a Sunday School lesson, sang a solo, made a dessert, cooked a church dinner, sewed an outfit, grew a garden as well as many other things–and so, so often we receive the compliment with a false humility without realizing it. I do it myself all of the time. I am embarrassed when I am praised or receive a compliment for what I’ve done, I say that the Lord gave me the ability (which is true) in a sort of denial of how He has used me, and I become self-deprecating and/or withdrawn.
After reading Hearthie’s post, I was struck by her statement that there will be plenty of opportunity for real humility. It occurred to me that false humility is just a form of pride. When I am unable to receive a compliment and genuinely reflect the goodness of God in my response, I am, in reality, self-conscious and trying to hide the pride I feel deep inside. Yes, the Lord has given me certain gifts and, yes, He has blessed me with opportunities to use those gifts for the building of His kingdom, and furthermore, He has enabled me through my circumstances and resources and by the strength and grace of His Spirit, to do these things. So why is it about me, in my heart, rather than truly about His graciousness in reaching down to gift me with the ability to do these things.
I am cut to the quick and long to repent of this false humility and self-centeredness that gets in the way of true humility and true service to the Lord, to my family, to His church, and to those around me. I am thankful that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13), including repenting of my pride and self-consciousness.
Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for
“God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.”
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. I Peter 5:5-7