When a concept does not have a name, or you are unaware of its name, it does not hold a clear definition for you. Listen to me teach long enough and eventually you’ll hear me say, “Terminology empowers you to use a concept.” What do I mean by this? Concepts are muddled into illusiveness without a given identity. But once you have identified a concept, you can begin to understand and process it.
One such concept, which I will give a name and definition to, is what is called false humility. If we don’t give a name to false humility, you may never know it even exists. False humility is a mental disposition that cripples people from reaching their potential. There are different definitions of false humility, but the one I am referring to in this article is this:
- when you believe devaluing yourself is a virtue
- you take a low-profile posture, even though the posture taken is not what God intends for you
- you are proud of the fact that you don’t value yourself
- you fail to become confident, or to reach your potential in life, because you fear the process is prideful
- you focus on your faults and shortcomings, rather than on the glorious work God is doing in you, or the work He wants to do in you and with you
- you think that humility and squelching the good in you are the same thing
False humility is often a trait of very sincere, good-hearted people. They are so good hearted that they fail to receive the blessing of what God wants to show them about themselves. They are “poor little ol’” me and proud of it. There is nothing bad in true humility, and there is nothing good in false humility. False humility contradicts God’s promises in your life. It also opposes the work of the cross by negating our glorious adoption as sons and daughters, by way of the cross.
Many dedicated believers fail to discern the difference between true and false humility. Walking in the false will always impede your journey to a healthy identity. False humility is demeaning and restrictive. It is often energized by fear of becoming proud. Please understand that I hate pride, so does God. But false humility is not the option. True humility is.
It is not prideful to acknowledge and be thankful for the wonderful things God is doing through you, or for the gifts He has given you. True humility is being able to embrace what is good in you, while knowing full well that “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights” (James 1:17). False humility will not create a platform for you to love yourself. I don’t mean loving yourself in a worldly, arrogant way. I mean loving yourself with the same pure, holy, love that God loves us all with. The original Greek word for this love is agape. Jesus told us to love our neighbor as ourselves. The word love in this verse is agape. This command would not make any sense if you were not supposed to love yourself.
This revelation came to me many years ago. I was one of those who couldn’t embrace the concept of self-love. I would rather talk about self-denial. One day, out of the blue, the Holy Spirit spoke to my spirit and said, “If I love you, why shouldn’t you love you!” That changed my life, brought me into a new level of healthy identity, and it freed me up to love others in a new, fresh—and may I say—humble way.
When you love yourself in a godly way—agape—there is no platform for pride.
Counselors and Strugglers
In reading this short teaching, you may desire to deal with false humility in your life. Perhaps you never knew there was such a thing. Now that you know about it, here are some steps to take:
- Ask God to reveal to you places where you have walked in false humility.
- Ask God to reveal to you the wonderful things in your life that you have not enjoyed because of false humility.
- When something is revealed, break your agreement with every lie associated with the false humility, and make an agreement with God to believe what He says about you and not what the enemy says. According to Psalm 139:14, you are fearfully and wonderfully made. Agree with that!
If you are a people helper or a counselor, watch out for what you may have previously not known to watch out for—a counterfeit of humility, which can limit those who you are trying to help from bettering themselves or from following their dreams. False humility stands in the way of a healthy identity development. May God give you discernment whenever false humility manifests.
May I suggest taking a few minutes to go read a chapter out of my book, To Kill A Lion: Transforming Your Life Through Sexual Freedom. It’s a book that goes beyond surface bandages and goes into the control room of the heart to answer the question many men ask: I know it’s wrong, but why can’t I stop? Just CLICK HERE to read it.