Can Humility & Confidence Go Together?

People often mistake humility for looking down at ourselves, beating ourselves up over our faults or constantly reminding everyone of our failings. In the face of this kind of self-flagellation, confidence has no room to enter. 

Humility by the world’s standard can be defined as having or showing a modest estimate of self-importance. For Christians, this means not only are we to develop our character with moderation to how we perceive ourselves and present ourselves, but we are also anchored in knowing who we are in the face of God – His beloved Children. It means we recognize our value and worth AND we seek to do His will, namely, to love God and neighbour. 

A Christian, goes one step further than that by becoming like another Christ, a true follower united in spirit with him. Our confidence then doesn’t come from our knowing how to think, talk and walk, but rather knowing that it’s Jesus who lives and loves through us. All the positive and uplifting things that we accomplish in life, we can do so with confidence because that’s Jesus loving the world through our eyes, our hands, and our heart. When we fall we can still walk with confidence because we know it’s Jesus who will be with us on the ground with a scraped knee and a bruised elbow, and it’s Jesus who will fill the gaps that we couldn’t. 

There has never been anyone more humble than Jesus Christ to walk this earth. God made man. Who came as an innocent and fragile little baby. The one who performed miracles and then retreated to pray instead of searching for a stage to be applauded. The one who walked miles in sandals to meet people instead of demanding an easier path. The one who offered up his life for our sins instead of letting us pay the price for what we deserved. But there was also no one more confident than Jesus. He who dared not only to call God, Father, and to teach all of us to do the same BUT ALSO he dares to call him ‘Abba’ – Dad. He was humble knowing it is God the father’s will that he is here on earth to fulfil. Yet he also walks in confidence knowing that no matter the highs or the lows that this path will bring, God’s will be done. 

Humble people come in all temperaments, personalities, shapes and sizes, yet they all share the same quality – their humble nature draws us in, a bit like Christ. 

There are so many ways to practice humility and here are 2 to consider. 

  • Cultural Humility
    • Recognizing that each individual person’s own cultural experiences have shaped the way we all view the world and being open to learning someone else’s perspective of the world may offer us some new insight, appreciation or understanding. It requires openness of mind to hear, and an openness of heart to appreciate where they may be coming from and what you can take away from it. 
  • Familial humility
    • Being able to accept influence and understanding from within the family unit despite their experience, expertise or even age. This could be the parents who are willing to take onboard a suggestion or the perspective of their young children despite the limited life experience the teenager might have. 

OR a husband/wife being willing to hear the thoughts of their spouse on a subject matter you have greater expertise in than them. 

OR children who are willing to listen to their older siblings who have walked this path already. 

Humility and confidence go hand in hand, and there is no better model of that than Jesus Christ himself. What’s one way you can be more conscious of shifting your mindset to become more humble?

Stina is the founder and director of Virtue Ministry and co-hosts the Living Fullness Podcast.

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