The real problem is not why some pious, humble, believing people suffer, but why some do not. [C. S. Lewis]
Whoever loves becomes humble. Those who love have, so to speak, pawned a part of their narcissism. [Freud]
Have you ever tried to buy a good book on humility? It's really hard to find. Personally, I think the only really good one is Andrew Murray's long standing classic "Humility".
I have my own definition: "Humility is to be no more than you are, and no less than you are"
This generation is the first ever to place it's imprint on the Internet, and to be imprinted from birth by the Internet. Through the Internet the world is my oyster: plant a grain of irritant and I'll grow layers to make a "pearl" of egotistical beauty (which is really nothing more than bodily secretions!)
Privacy is out the window and people don't even care. Our government spies on us and uncaringly we go about our business. We're desensitized to what people know about us and all attention is on self promotion: gaining twitter followers, Facebook 'likes', blogs that get cross posted everywhere, instagram selfies pushing the boundaries of risqué. Who cares? We don't.
It's a game of pride, of finding our value in public visibility. Obscurity is worse than death ... at least if I die people will be emotional about me for a moment.
Yet, paradoxically we put humility on a pedestal and pay lip service saying this is good and right. Meanwhile our actions make lies of our words. As soon as the next publicity opportunity comes around we once again yearn to be the reality star in other peoples eyes. So we play put-down games, flinging subtle snarks to undermine the foundations of others.
Is it wrong to be proud? No. The bible speaks positively in a number of places about being proud. But it is a pride of things that God approves, it's the pleasing approval of what is good.
So why do we speak negatively, even fearfully of "being humbled", "eat humble pie", "the shame of humiliation", etc., etc. It's because we know inside that we all live a facade. Our lives are balanced on a shaky pillar of pride and we fear the moment of discovery ... the long fall from our self-made high place.
But like everything, there is the inverse: when someone thinks less of themselves than they really are, and then discover their true value ... thats a moment of joy.
At the end of the day it's about finding the balance, of living the paradoxes of the bible. I'm righteous in Christ, but a wretched sinner. I'm God's creature valued by Him beyond my comprehension, but so worthless that I deserve eternal separation.
Humility is living what I am: redeemed and walking in the authority of the God of creation, yet only alive by the grace given to me.
Walk in love, then the focus in not on me.
Exercise the authority given to me.
Take no authority where I have none.
Obey the authority that is rightly over me,
Do not place myself under false authority.
Be what I am.
Do not demean that which God has blessed.
Do not presume to be more than He created.
If you must practice humility, at least do it quietly
Don't be humble... you're not that great. [Golda Meir]
If I only had a little humility, I'd be perfect [Ted Turner]
Humility is like underwear; essential, but indecent if it shows.
There is something in humility which strangely exalts the heart. [Augustine]