What I am about to tell you now is something I have learned from experience:
Being humble is not the same as being timid.
For example: I consider myself an introvert. That basically means I like to be alone and I can be shy around people. I used to think that in order for me to be “humble,” I should not speak up. I thought that being too talkative or just speaking up sometimes is a little prideful. So basically, while being timid and shy, I was actually convinced that I was being humble.
However, what life has taught me is that to be humble does not mean you have to talk less. It does not necessarily mean shy away from the spotlight or avoid taking over conversations. Extraverted and talkative individuals can still be humble. Some of the most well-known leaders and successful people are the most humble people you will meet, such as Warren Buffet and Bill Gates.
To learn what it really means to be humble and how it looks like, why don’t we refer to one of the most humble leaders to ever walk the face of the earth: Jesus Christ.
While walking in the mist of his disciples and all who met him, Jesus was this ordinary carpenter from Nazarene. However, what many people did not know was that he also carried the extraordinary power of God inside of him. He was literally God in the flesh.
All the disciples (well only some really understood it) knew this to be true. Jesus, the Messiah. But yet, with all this power in him, Jesus hung out with some of the most despised and condemned people, including tax collectors and sinners. He kindly preached to and fed thousands of people and healed lepers, crippled, blind, and more. And in the picture above, he is washing his disciples’ feet. This is one of the truest images that display Christ’s humility.
Jesus was the definition of an ideal servant. To be humble really means to have a heart of service. Check out these three verses on humility:
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.” – Philippians 2:3-4
“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgement, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.” – Romans 12:3
“Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.” – Romans 12:16
All of these verses help explain what humility really is. Being humble doesn’t mean you act shy. Rather, being humble means that you value others above yourself. And notice, it didn’t say “put” others above yourself. Being humble means you “value” others, or “consider” others’ interests above your own.
Being humble means simply to not be so prideful; to not think too highly of yourself. Like Jesus, Mother Theresa, and many other humble individuals in the world have done, being humble means to be willing to associate with people of a lower position than you. Being humble is going in a medical mission trip to serve in Nigerian prisons and villages, which I did in December 2017.
Basically, being humble has nothing to do with how timid or quiet you are. But it has everything to do with how confident you are in yourself and while realizing your shortcomings, recognizing that you are unique just like everybody else.