How do you teach humility?

 

 

 

Someone recently asked on a facebook group “How did you teach Humility”.  I liked the question because it was proactive – how do you teach humility instead of how do you get rid of pride.   We don’t have to wait till we see an expression of pride in our life, or in our children’s lives, before we learn more about humility.

Pride is when we trust ourselves and all that we can do

Humility is when we trust in God and acknowledge all He enables us to do

He who is of a proud heart stirs up strife,  but he who trusts in the Lord will be prospered.  Proverbs 28:25

Pride has been expressed in a few ways in our household (I’m sure there are more ways, but these come to mind immediately):

  • Arrogance in explaining things to people
  • Egotistical everything is about me
  • Bullying (I’m bigger and stronger than you)
  • Taking on more than your responsibilities and being the martyr for doing so

Though the expressions are broad, the heart is the same – self centered and focused on self.   Here are some of the things we’ve done at different times.

  1. Study God’s word – pride, humility.  From here we learnt what it looks like in our actions and in our heart.  We used “Power of True Success” and “Instruction in Righteousness” as resources for our studies
  2. For each situation pride/lack of humility came from an aspect in life that my kids were good at.  We had a strong focus that these gifts/talents were given to us by God, for God’s purposes – and that God’s purposes always include other people.
  3. We looked for practical ways they could serve, help or make others successful using their giftings/talents.  And to see if they could do it without being noticed (and ‘earning’ someone’s thanks)
  4. We looked for people to thank who have helped us be who we are, and also giving praise to the strengths they saw (and needed) in others (namely, their siblings)
  5. I expected them to apologise for their arrogance/pride/hurtful behaviour but only after they recognised it for what it was and were truly sorry.
  6. I also took it as an indicator that I needed to ensure that I didn’t overly rely on that one child for that one thing – making them feel indispensable and helping them see that others had some abilities the same as them

Instead of trusting myself – I need to acknowledge other people (and especially God’s) role in my life and achievements.

Instead of drawing attention to myself, I need to find ways to make others successful.

Instead of looking for praise, I need to do things knowing that God sees, and that is enough.

Instead of doing it all myself, I need to be a part of a team.

I need to look out for others and to help them even if it makes me uncomfortable.  I need to learn to be part of a team.  I need to find ways to encourage others when they find things hard, not making it harder for them by saying how easy it is for me.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  Phil 4:13

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