Hating Yourself Is Not to Be Confused with Humility
I am constantly hearing Christian people say self-deprecating comments. They belittle themselves and put themselves down. In their innocence, I would say they do this in fear. I know I spent much of my younger years in fear over being seen as proud, arrogant or self-promoting.  

We know we should be humble and self-denying. 
We know that Christ calls us to take up our cross.  
We know that we are full of selfish desires that we must constantly repress.
We know how dangerous pride is. 

But, more and more, I notice in others that they misunderstand the definition of humility. Adults and teenagers, alike, need to understand the true meaning of Christlike humility and what it looks like in everyday life. 

Humility isn't putting yourself down. It isn't hating yourself. It isn't belittling yourself. 

Instead, it is focused on others. 
Applauding and encouraging.  
It is denying your selfish desires to help serve. 

Humility means putting energy into listening and loving others.  It is the choice to care about others and receive correction when needed.  Humility is an attitude of meekness rather than broadcasting accomplishments and seeking recognition.  Humility is openness to learning and listening and growing.  

Going around speaking negatively of myself isn't humility.  Denying my self-worth isn't humility and neither is hating myself.  Announcing my flaws and comparing my many imperfections to others' seemingly perfect lives isn't humility.  That, my friend, is a head-game of comparison.  Comparison breeds jealousy.  Jealousy isn't humility in any way.  

Humility is acknowledging your gifts as well as my own but being sure that I don't think of mine as more important. No comparison needed. 

Every human being matters to God.  Every soul has value.  All of us have individual gifts.  Realizing and using those gifts is incredibly important for a fruitful life. Being aware of your gifts isn't being prideful. We've got to stop denying our talents and putting ourselves down in the name of being humble.  Let's simply stay in our lane and be sure to stay meek about what we have to learn along the way. 

Our journey should be toward humility and self-actualization, in which we learn of our personal gifts and fulfill them to the honoring of God.  We shouldn't be in a useless battle of anxiety, at war within ourselves.  Life shouldn't be a game of comparison. 

Desiring personal growth is a side effect of having a humble heart. 

Let's select our words carefully and be sure to examine our hearts.  My heart should be humble. James 4:10 reminds us about humbling ourselves. 1 Peter 5:6 says that God will exalt you when you humble yourself. Matthew 18:4 reminds us to humble our hearts like that of a child, innocent and willing to learn. Proverbs has countless verses about humility and the dangers of pride in our hearts. Let's decide to pray daily with a humble heart and for a humble heart. 

My prayer: Lord, you are perfect and I have so much to learn. Guide me as I learn my purpose and true gifts. Help me to serve others and you, while learning how to become more like Christ.  Lord Jesus, I love you and I need your help. Shape me into a reflection of you to the broken world around me. 


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