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03 August 2008

Humility and Self-Confidence

This was written as a letter for a specific purpose, and I wanted to share it with you here. Covers a few things that I've blogged about before, but does so just a little differently.

I’ve always walked a little bit of an odd line when it comes to self-confidence vs. humility. Although it may sound like it, those two things aren’t opposites, and they should co-exist in everyone’s life; especially in the life of a Christ-follower.

The first verse that probably comes to mind when thinking of humility is, “Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18, NLT) That verse is really so self-explanatory, I won’t even try to add anything to it.

But one of the passages in the Bible that I believe has taught me the most about humility is this one: “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.” (Philippians 2:3-4, NLT) That’s a rather difficult couple of verses to actually do. Thinking of others as better than myself is honestly not something that comes easily for me.

But taking this and working to live it has had some unusually positive results. I’ve found that if I expect someone’s motivations for what they do to be excellent rather than assuming the worst (which is unfortunately what comes naturally for most people), I wind up learning to like them first, and then learning to actually love them. Part of real, genuine humility is being able to see the strengths of other people – it’s actually not the process of learning to belittle ourselves or acting like we don’t like ourselves just so people will think we’re humble.

When we take the focus of “humility” off of ourselves, we’re no longer constricted to think that somehow self-confidence goes against true humility. Always expect the best of yourself, and continually push yourself to do better at everything. If someone recognizes your efforts and pays you a compliment, it’s not arrogant or anti-humble to accept it.


A. said...

I totally needed to hear that today, especially the end. Learning to be confidence but humble is quite an endeavor, & I'm thankful that you posted your own ideas as they gave me some more insight into this. :)

Dean Lusk said...

I'm very, very glad that you got something out of the post. It's odd to think that humility may not exactly be all about ourselves, so I hope I articulated what was in my head well enough.

Thanks for the comment and for stopping by!

Helene said...

Self-confidence must be used in the right way. We need to have confidence in order to do the things we want and need to do. This will help us succeed in our goals and dreams in life. Over confidence will only lead to arrogance that's why we just need the right amount.

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