Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Virtue of Humility

"For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted." - Matthew 23:12

If you had perfect humility others could insult you, belittle you, mock you, beat you, and crucify you and it wouldn’t hurt your feelings one bit!  That’s what they did to Jesus Christ.  Few of us will ever learn perfect humility like Jesus, but it’s a virtue well worth striving for that can make a huge difference in your life.

Falling out of favor at work, having a career setback, or losing a well-paying job can be very humiliating experiences.  The mental anguish you and your loved ones experience can cause deep feelings of anger, remorse, anxiety, and depression.  And the stress can be similar to a long-distance move, a death in the family, a bitter divorce, or a diagnosis of cancer.
If you think about, the original sin of our first parents was pride, and to this day pride is still at the root of so many wrongs in our world today.  The remedy for this sin of pride is the virtue of humility!  Humiliation is simply the pain of your pride leaving your soul.  So if you let go of your pride and pretentiousness and embrace humility you’ll be well on your way to mentally bouncing back from the setbacks you encounter in work and in life. 
I once had a friend of mine who early in his working career had quickly risen through the ranks of his company.  He’d come from humble beginnings and was quite proud of his early success.  The only problem was he was absolutely miserable.  He didn’t like the pretentiousness, petty politics, and disingenuousness of the corporate world. 
Eventually his star fell as quickly as it rose and he lost his job.  He moved his family to Tampa, Florida and soon exhausted his savings looking for another job.  Finally he took a job literally digging ditches in order to support his family. 

He told me that through that humbling experience he rediscovered his roots and the dignity of honest hard work.  Much of his pride sweated away during that hot Florida summer, and he’d never been happier in his life.  It wasn’t long before he was promoted from ditch digger to foreman and from foreman to manager.  He'd like to think that God blessed him for embracing the virtue of humility.

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