“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.” This quote from C.S. Lewis has become my favorite quote over the years. I used to think that humility meant never giving yourself credit. Humility meant being humble to me, but I have realized that I didn’t understand the word until recently. Being humble doesn’t mean playing down your strong attributes and not taking credit for the good things you have done. In my opinion it is more about being able to realize that it isn’t always about you.
I often enjoy looking at things from a sports perspective, so here’s an example of humility in sports. Say you’re the star pitcher of a baseball team and you just threw a no-hitter. This is a pretty special accomplishment that a person should take pride in. It’s completely okay to be happy about your performance. The pitcher without humility talks in the post game interview about how great he is and how he is really proud of himself, which is not wrong. However, the pitcher with humility draws attention to the spectacular catch his right fielder made late in the game and how his third baseman picked off a scorching line drive down the left field line. Humility makes a big difference in plenty of real life situations, but I personally love the sports example. Humility is about being a team player and recognizing that you are a part of something bigger than yourself. Sadly this is an idea that has been lost in professional sports for quite some time now, despite a few exceptions.
You do not need to downplay your achievements or be unwilling to accept praise to be a humble person. It is important to appreciate what others do too, and give them credit when they are deserving. This idea can be found in the Bible as well in Romans 12:3 “For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.”
I’ve learned that humility is something difficult to understand. There are times for taking credit and being proud, but there are times to praise others and downplay your own importance. You need to find balance in your life and do all of these things at the proper time. Nobody is absolutely perfect at this, and it will be an ongoing struggle. Effort is what it is really about.