From Rules of a Godly Life, Section 1 (“Thoughts”), Rule #8:
If other people praise you, humble yourself. But do not praise yourself or boast, for that is the way of fools who seek vain praise. Be honest in all your dealings and this will be enough reward; then others will praise you.
Of all the Rules, this one seems to strike hardest at the current state of things in society. Surveying a cultural landscape where YouTube stars and trash-talking athletes thrive, humility comes off as passé, a 1950s concept. My favorite are the T-shirts barking out some sort of “I’m better than you” message. I guess I’m more embarrassed than impressed when I see those.
Humility is probably what we’d consider a “core value” of the Amish. Simply being Amish is no inoculation against pride though, which Amish know can creep in deviously.
This also brings to mind the question of “false humility”. First of all, what is it? What if the natural human reaction is towards feeling pride? Where is the line between honest satisfaction and pride? What about feeling “pride” in a job well done, which you might catch even Amish admitting to?
The message of the above Rule seems to me that humility is about being confident that credit, if due, will be given, in due time. And in its purest form humility means being unconcerned about even getting credit. Being honest in itself is “enough reward”.
What do you think? And will humility ever make a comeback?
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