News and Views

The word is... Humility

Posted by Guest Author on

...well said

Ancient church mothers and fathers often greeted one another with the phrase, “Give me a word.” This greeting led to the sharing of insights and wisdom. Today we continue this tradition with this monthly column.


By Mandy Sayers
Lead Pastor, Glen Mar UMC, Ellicott City

"And mark that you do this with humility and discipline — not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love…"

Ephesians 4:3 (The Message)

Humility is not a virtue that gets lifted up much these days. The humble, it seems, will get run over by the steamroller of partisan politics and cruel social media threads. When’s the last time humility actually got promoted as a value worth having, anyway? “Look at her…she’s so poised and confident — she’s so strong and so smart and so…humble…”

However, we need and we use humility more than we might think. When our children, 26 months apart, were growing up, we insisted that they learn how to forgive after an argument. I would often pull the car over and refuse to move until reconciliation happened. I did this because 1) they will select my nursing home someday, and 2) after Eric and I go to glory, they will need each other, so they need to value their relationship first over whatever disagreement they have. That means learning how to fight, apologize, forgive and be reconciled — impossible without humility.

Without humility, it would be impossible to be married, or even to be friends, because each person would always put their own needs first. There would be endless fights over who was right about every single thing — there would be the need to fight everything out and win. There would be no peace in families or in churches without humility, because there would be no space for serving and caring for each other.

“Pouring yourselves out for each other” requires humility. Just allowing that we might be wrong about anything, creates space for humility. Or, what if we were “right” but we didn’t need to be “right?” Some of the most humble people I know are so in love with Jesus and with their brothers and sisters in Christ that they value other things even more than being “right.” Like being a family, or being friends, or being in a relationship.

Humility is a way to be like Jesus and to promote health in the family or even in the church. I enjoy being right about most anything — but it turns out, in my life and my walk with God, I’ve found “being right” isn’t nearly as good as “being together.”


By Daryl Williams
Pastor, St. Paul UMC, Oxon Hill

“Look at me!” We don’t always say it, but we certainly live it. Every time we post a “living my best life” selfie or write our latest manifesto on Facebook so that everyone will know what we think, we are screaming, “Look at me!”

The problem is, with all the posturing and the posting to be seen, people never see who we really are. What they see is the image that we are trying to project of our best selves.

The perfect self that we want everyone else to see and to admire is never our true self. Honestly, our true self is not perfect. It has flaws, dents, is partly broken and far less than perfect. Our true self needs work, needs help and is flawed yet authentic.

Unfortunately, authenticity requires something that has become increasingly rare in our society: humility.

Humility is the ability to see yourself soberly, accurately and still be okay with what you see. For many of us, we try to hide and disguise our flaws so that we can present the perfect picture. This picture is used so that we don’t have to face the fact that we are not perfect, don’t have it all together and, most importantly, can’t let anyone else see the real us.

Humility reminds us that we are not perfect, and that is fine. We don’t have it all together, and that is fine. We are all in need of work, and that is fine. When we embrace humility, we embrace the fact that I don’t have to be perfect to be okay; I can just be me.

Friends, trying to be perfect is slowly driving us all crazy. When we have the humility to accept that perfection is not who we were meant to be, we can have authentic lives together. We can stop trying to be seen and actually see each other. When we do that, we will see that we all have beautiful flaws and imperfections that make us each unique, deserving of love and in need of fellowship with each other.

We will see that by not thinking so much about ourselves, we can find time to think of and extend ourselves to others. So, take a little time to stop saying look at me, and have the humility to let yourself be seen.