It’s the most amazing thing when the smartest, funniest, prettiest, most talented people possess an equal amount of humility.
And yet this combination is far from common, and it makes me think: What does it take to live in this way?
Why is it our natural instinct to get all stuck-up and want to talk about ourselves and how great we are?
I think the problem arises when we give ourselves credit for whatever gift or talent we have, forgetting Who gave it to us in the first place.
Of course, it is easy to say, “Well, I am naturally a people person! It’s just who I am to make friends and entertain.”
And yet, the very cores of who we are had to come from somewhere, and I would argue that it came from the One who created us.
1 Corinthians 12:1-11 talks about the many different spiritual gifts a person may possess, whether it be wisdom, healing, etc.
Verse 11 finishes by saying, “All these [gifts] are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes [these gifts] to each one, just as he determines.”
Though this specific scripture is talking about spiritual gifts, we know that we are fearfully and wonderfully made, knit together by the Creator himself. I would imagine that our non-spiritual gifts were similarly distributed to us as he determined.
That makes me think that every gift we have is full of purpose. You were meant to be who you are with the gifts and talents that make you, you.
You might not think you’re the “best” at anything. And whether you are or not, it’s okay either way.
However, I’d guess that you’re pretty darn good at something. Maybe your thing is music or working with kids. You fill in the blank.
In today’s culture, it is common—almost encouraged—to be proud of yourself for whatever it is that you are good at. We all know the saying… “If you’ve got it, flaunt it.” :)
But God asks something different. He says that your job is to use that “thing”—whatever it may be—and use it to give back to Him.
People can make the most impact when they stop worrying about how good the thing is that they are doing, and start thinking about the little (or big) things that they can do to give back to their God.
From the words of C.S. Lewis, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.”
You don’t have to degrade yourself in order to be humble. You don’t have to decline compliments or never speak up. Doing so would take away from your ability to use your gifts to their potential.
Instead, take any prideful thoughts that may arise and remember where your abilities came from and use them to help others and bring praise to God, rather than yourself.
I do want to mention…you don’t have to be the very best to make an impact. In fact, you have so much potential right now. So whether others have told you that you are the best “this” or the best “that” or not, simply use what God has given you for the good of God and the good of others, without thinking of how talented you are or the benefits you may receive for doing it.
Humility is a beautiful, beautiful trait to possess. Living in a culture that has nearly forgotten this trait, let’s not allow ourselves to do the same.
Let’s do big things for God and for others, “not thinking less of [ourselves], but thinking of [ourselves] less.” (C.S. Lewis)