I start this essay from the Golden Rule "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you". In order to relate to people according to this rule, one of the most important needs is that of "humility". Humility is a high virtue of human beings. Unfortunately this affirmation is not accepted by everybody. Somehow this virtue is ignored, or it was not paid much attention to it. In this essay I want to show two things: like I said in the beginning, that humility is really a high virtue of human been, and the second, that the church understanding of humility is not always the biblical understanding of humility. Church view is all the time influenced on the one hand by the world understanding of humility, and on the other hand by biblical view about it, so somehow the church is between the world view and the Bible view about this virtue. Due to the fact that the worldly influence is sometimes stronger than that of the Bible, there is misunderstanding among Christians concerning humility. In order to clarify this I have structured my essay in three parts:
(1) World understanding of humility
(2) Misunderstanding of humility among Christians
(3) Biblical view of humility.
1. World understanding of humility.
A contemporary definition of humility is: lowliness and submissiveness, meekness, and humbelness.1 If we go to its etymological roots we find that humility comes from “latin humilis, ‘lowly’, and humus, ‘earth’”.2 In the contemporary world, humility is seen unfortunately as a weakness, and not as a virtue. Why humility is seen like this? It is because the world in which we are living is a world of competition. Everybody is in competition for the best place. In every domain is a competition. For example in politic, they are in competition for who to lead the country, in economy for who to have the most develop business, even in culture & arts is a competition for who to be the best artist and so on. So in this search for competition you learn how to be tough, selfish, or how to step on others in order to reach to the top. All this conditions in which are living make the humility to be seen by the world as a weakness and not as a virtue. To be humble means to be coward or to bow your head before of all. To be humble means to don’t say anything, to shut up and to obey to everybody. This is how the world understands the humility. Because of this understanding about it, humility cannot be seen as a virtue.
2. Missunderstanding of humility among Christians.
Unfortunately even Christians understood eronate this concept of humility. A major factor in this eronate understanding of this concept is, the influence of the world understanding of this concept in the church, having negative consequences. How humility is misunderstood in the church by Christians? First of all for a lot of Christians to be humble means to have no opinion, or means that they don’t have the right to say anything, but to be totally subordinated to the pastor and to the leadership of that church even if they do or say something which is not according to the Scripture. This misunderstanding of humility is important because this leads to some abuses in the church by its leaders. A lot of pastors through this gets the absolute power in the church, leading the church by their free will which in so many cases leads unfortunately to the immaturity of that church and a eronate living. “The power corrupt, but the absolute power corrupts absolutely”. Another way that a lot of Christians understand humility is that even if they are gifted persons and have the capacity and potential to achieve some tasks, they pretend that they cannot do it, or that they are not able to achieve those tasks. In this case the person doesn’t prove that she or he is humble, or meek, but this is a false humility, and constitutes hypocrisy and lying. Unfortunately are many of these Christians, which are withdrawing in this way from a lot of activities.3...