Humility incorporates the idea of avoiding high positions when possible and discouraging and dismissing the flattering words of thoughtless friends. Humility can be thought of as a state of being meek in spirit, or freedom from pride and arrogance. A wise man once wrote, "Modesty is a shining light; it prepares the mind to receive knowledge, and the heart to receive truth. Humility is the solid foundation of all the virtues." Humility also inspires an individual to learn by study, prayer, and divine guidance. It is a willingness to learn from others. It is the understanding that no mortal man can have a monopoly on the knowledge of all things.
Throughout the New Testament the idea of Humility can be found. In the Sermon on the Mount our Savior states, "Blessed are the poor in spirit; for their's is the kingdom of heaven."(Matthew 5:3) and then later in the same sermon our Master proclaims, "Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the Earth."(Matthew 5:5) Paul in his Epistle to the Philippians states, ". . . in lowliness of mind let each esteem other(s) better than themselves." (Philippians 2:3) The savior also speaks of Humility in Mathew 23:5-12
But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. "
Thomas Edison realized the vastness of God's creation when he said, "We don't know the millionth part of one percent about anything. We don't know what water is. We don't know what light is . . . We don't know what enables is to keep our feet when we stand up. We don't know what electricity is. We don't know what heat is. We don't know anything about magnetism We have a lot of hypothesises about these thing, but that is all. But we do not let our ignorance about these things deprive us of their use."
We need to realize that, "The Heavens declare the glory of God; amid the firmament sheweth his handwork." (Psalms 19:1) We need to realize that the Milky way in which we live is but a tiny fragment, and within this tiny fragment is our solar system which is an infinitesimal speck and and within this speck is a microscopic dot which is Earth.
A test of humility lies not in failure but in success. When we are tempted to forget that all of our power and achievements have come because of God. We might deserve the success we gain in life but we will fail a far more important test if we do not acknowledge God's role in our success.
Baynard Taylor taught the idea of how humility can help us in the game of life,
"Our Business in life is not to get ahead of other people, but, to get ahead of ourselves. To break our own record, to outstrip our yesterdays with our todays, to bear our trials more beautifully than we ever dreamed we could, to whip the tempter inside and out as we never whipped him before, to give as we have never given, to do our work with more force and a finer finish than ever. . . To beat our own game means a great deal. Whether we win or not, we are playing better than we ever did before, and that's the point after all- to play a netter game of life."
Pride can keep us from providing service to those we should. Sometimes the color of ones skin causes us to be conceited and prevents us from doing the right thing. Other times we might be tempted to be a self righteous church goer, or we might possess the haughtiness or wealth or display the cruelty so often exhibited by social climbers. All of these sins can be overcame with the application of humility. If we do not have sympathy for our fellow man because of our pride we will no help them or serve them. Pride creates the idea of exclusiveness and unbrotherliness.
At the core of the ideal of humility is the expression that we must realize that we are no better or any more important in the eyes of God than anyone else who is striving to do good.
In closing I leave the words of a poet,
"He who must lead must first himself be led;
Who would be loved to be capable of love
Beyond the utmost he receives, who claims
The rod of power must first have bowed
And being honored, honor what's above:
This know the men who leave the world their names."