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Humility


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#1 Michael T.

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 02:19 PM

When ever I post or write something I hear pride in so much that I say, so for the sake of simplicity please understand that I am not claiming any accomplishment.

I have been trying to "work" on my humility. then the other day my boss says that I tend to come-across as not being confident or sure of myself. In life i see so much of people who display arrogance in relation to their position. In my work I have wanted to avoid this, to treat the housekeeper the way I treat the the CEO, with love and respect as is appropriate in a business setting. perhaps i have a misunderstanding of what each of these things mean. Is there a way to show dignity without treating others in a diminutive way? My boss says i should have pride in myself, how do I do this and find Christian Humility?

#2 Phoebe K.

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 03:41 PM

Hi

 

I am not shore how much help I can be, but I will say what I understand, Humility is probably the most difficult virtue to obtain (and keep) in that as soon as we obtain a little we are apt to lose it again in congratulating ourselves in progress.  Humility is a balancing act between pride and an undervaluing of self, it is not easy and a gift of grace from the Lord as we are not able to do it ourselves.

 

Humility in the end is a right valuing of self and others, and seeing one's self as you are before God.  It is possible to have a confidence in yourself and an apsoulute trust in God without Pride, it is different from the self beleife which the world knows and is the same sort of humility that the Lord himself showed in riding a donkey into Jerusalem then cleansing the temple.  This sort of conferdent humility is seen in the lives of may of the saints when they stood up to the rules of the world and even others in the church while not losing the appropriately respect for authority.  This conferdent humility is far easer to work with than Pride which undermines relationships, rather it promotes the lessening to each persons ideas and the contribution of all members of a team and healthy relationships which is more productive than unbridled compertion.

 

we must always remember that each and every person is created in the image of God and teat them appropriately in this we give them dignity and we have dignity ourself, as Christ had dignity yet treated all with the same love, we would not say that he lost dignity in washing his deciples feet rather he redefined dignity as something which serves and teats others well.  To demean another in the end leads to the demeaning of self as we are all created in the image of God and we have to recognise that in the other even if they do not recognise it in themselves.

 

We are working from a different paradime to the world and a conferdent humility where a person knows there own worth and respects the intrinsic worth of all others is difficult for the world to accepts but it will also mean others look at us with a respect that we do not allow ourselves or others to be bulled into compromising positions and say no to things (polity) which would overreach us or would compromise our values.  It is not an easy path and it is fraught with danger but the Lord is always willing to help us in such struggles if we trust ourselves to him and our verute by his grace will be seen by others.

 

Phoebe



#3 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 03:57 PM

We should not have false humility.  Reticence is not true humility.  We are not to hide our light under a bushel.  If God has granted us certain talents, we should have the confidence to employ them but always in His service.  Attribute all things to God, pray that you are enabled to use the gifts He gave to the best, and give thanks for what you have.  Pray that the work you do may be pleasing to God and beneficial to all whom you encounter.  Where would we be if St Peter and the Apostles had been reticent after Pentecost?  You will be asked, 'what did you do with the talents I gave you?'  Don't hide them in the ground.



#4 Alice

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 05:25 PM

Andreas is so right! Do the best job you can with confidence and know, that if in your heart and in your actions, you love and respect everyone equally, and that you are not a lover of men and their social standing and/or success, then your heart is, indeed, humble.



#5 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 06:57 PM

We can be confident without being arrogant. The world does not value humility. It does does not reward humility. Arrogance and being pushy does get people what they want. That is why they do it. It works plain and simple.

The hard part of humility is accepting what comes without complaint, which often includes not being recognized for what you've done, perhaps with someone else, the loud arrogant one, getting the credit and even the promotion. We have to set our priorities, what is more important? To get ahead or to be like Christ? We must always be mindful of who our real "boss" is and act accordingly. All things (even missed promotions) work for good for those who follow The Lord.

Work hard, do your best, but do be willing to let others credit for your work without complaining or resentment. Take joy in the good fortune of others without jealousy and be content with what God sends your way, regardless of what your boss or the world thinks.

#6 Olga

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 11:15 PM

Confidence is the comfortable state of knowing what is right. Arrogance is the insecure and selfish clinging to what one thinks and wants to be right.



#7 Michael T.

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 03:52 AM

What a great group of responses, each with a bit different view point.  You know I have been on the internet since the eighties, and often people will read text with different interpretations.

Phoebe, you are a light. What I have read says that it IS as you have said the most difficult to get, but the only virtue the demons have no defense against.  You like most emphasized the connection humility has to “reality,” to seeing things as they really are without delusion. Part of what you said seemed to paraphrase that the way is narrow, difficult and winding. 

Thank you, Andreas, Alice, Herman and Olga.  While I understand that one should avoid false humility, it also seems to ring true that all pride is false.  As false humility is to feign humility, or to try to appear to have humility I don’t have ; Isn’t it true that all pride is to think I have a reason to think I have a superiority which I don’t?   So, there can be no pride but false or unsubstantiated pride. 

As I keep committing sins and seem to have the truth of just how contemptible I am splashed in my face, I have no doubt that I am also functioning quite a lot with false humility (even as I write this) I have seen that I am all too capable and willing to concoct justifications and excuses for my sins. I know this intellectually, and I can even logically see that this is something that should be changed and I hope that I will continue to strive for this change. 

Ultimately, this struggling is what I understand I should be doing so that the Spirit will effect the change I am seeking and knocking on the door to find.  I want to see clearly, or… I want to want to see clearly.  I am a middle aged man with plenty of evidence of my foolishness, of my sinfulness, of my blindness.  Sometimes I wonder if I am not Curley of the Three Stooges, with his eyes closed tightly screaming “I can’t see, I can’t see!!!”
 
If I am practicing false humility I do so in an attempt to find the real thing.

Thanks to each of you for your responses, you have help me find I different perspective of what I should do.

With love

#8 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 04:10 AM

“True humility does not say humble words, nor does it assume humble looks, it does not force oneself either to think humbly of oneself, or to abuse oneself in self-belittlement. Although all such things are the beginning, the manifestations and the various aspects of humility, humility itself is grace, given from above. There are two kinds of humility, as the holy fathers teach: to deem oneself the lowest of all beings and to ascribe to God all one’s good actions. The first is the beginning, the second the end.”

-Saint Gregory of Sinai.

 

Dickens's Uriah Heap is a caricature of the opposite of what St Gregory describes. 



#9 Michael T.

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 06:14 AM



 

OH....I
must Really seem insincere. Sorry,


 



#10 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 09:11 AM

I'm very proud of my humility.



#11 Michael T.

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 02:20 PM

As I mentioned early on, this is not a subject that is easily discussed. None the less a good part of the point of opening the discussion was for your help. So Mr Moran, how should I pursue this. How should I seek so that through the Spirit I will find. If I am chasing this in the wrong way, what should I do. When I wrote the thing about Curly of the The Stooges I was serious. It really feels to me as if something is blatantly in front of me and I'm just too blind, or unwilling to look to see it. I thought your first post was about reticence was very helpful, and I am still thinking about how it applies to me.

I recognize and understand your aversion to some of the things I have said. part of the reason I have chosen this venue is of the anonymity. I choose the anonymity partly because I realize a statement like " I want to pursue humility" has an element of false humility in it. If I were an alcoholic we could talk about the mechanics of my addiction and how to battle against it, but the subject of humility is linguistically difficult to discuss.

#12 Paul Cowan

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 02:35 PM

Humility:

Being quiet when you have something to say

acceptance of abuse from others without reprisal

not offering personal opinion or the opinion of others

offering all you have without anticipation of reward or return of property

 

Humility is NOT humiliation and care should be shown not to be put in that situation

 

Paul



#13 Alice

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 02:48 PM

Humility:

Being quiet when you have something to say

acceptance of abuse from others without reprisal

not offering personal opinion or the opinion of others

offering all you have without anticipation of reward or return of property

 

Humility is NOT humiliation and care should be shown not to be put in that situation

 

Paul

Paul,

 

This is incredibly profound and so true....

When I used to work with the women's philanthropic association of my church, because there are so many personalities and often, egos, involved, I just went along, and didn't offer my opinion-- unless, ofcourse, asked...Sometimes I would make a suggestion--I think there is a fine line between suggestion and opinion.

It really did make me feel humble and like a better Christian. It also helped me get along. Ofcourse, there have to be leaders in every association, whether work or charity, but I think that they too, if they are assertive with respect towards others, can be humble.

Perhaps the bottom line in all these practices of humility is true respect for the other?

 

Have a blessed day, Paul--

Alice



#14 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 06:23 PM

Michael T. I'm not averse to anything you have said: we all struggle with pride in one way or another.  The allusion to Curly and the Stooges is lost on me, being English.  I think if you put together the things folks here have said, there's a foundation on which to build.  One thing to avoid is becoming too focused on the problem; as Elder Sophrony said, 'don't spy on yourself'. 



#15 Michael T.

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 06:49 PM

The Three Stooges made B or C short films in the 40s and fifties. They were slap-stick, not my style of humour. In several of thier films one of the three, Curley, is found in a scene with his eyes tightly closed screaming that he cannot see. In thier infantile humour, of course, he cannot see because he won't open his eyes. This is the image I was trying to call-up.
RElated to what you have quoted from Elder Sophrony, another has told me that I should focus on the the needs of others not on myself.
As I have said before, each of your responses are appreciated.
Now I will ask one more thing of each of you. that is to pray for me as I try to put this into practice.

with love

#16 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 08:26 PM

We all need prayers that we put into practice what we know we should do.



#17 Lakis Papas

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 04:21 PM

I think the deeper meaning of humility is described in 1 Corinthians 9:19
 

For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.

 

The phrase "I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some" shows that "being ME" brings no fruits for others. On the other hand "becoming like them" (but with no sin)  is what humility is all about and brings the fruits of salvation for all.



#18 Michael T.

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 10:54 PM

Thank you!




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