October 18, 2010 | 04:15 pm

Monday – Signs of Discontentment

This week’s theme is humility, and a short phrase in Psalm 65 has me thinking about this. It says “we shall be satisfied….” I’ve never thought about it before, but I think humility is connected to contentment. This may seem a strange association, so let me explain. In a society that values continuous progress, humility is not held as a virtue. One must consistently achieve new things and then tout one’s contributions to get ahead. There is little room for modesty or self-effacing behavior, lest the competition get the upper hand. Humility, on the other hand, arises from a comfort with who we are and where we are in life. We do not feel compelled to promote or compare ourselves with others. We’re okay with who we are, so there is no need to convince others about who they should think we are. In this sense I’m not sure humility is something that can be taught. Otherwise it is a veneer of false modesty in which we avoid raising the topic of our merits—instead we wait for others to do so. I’ve had those moments when it would seem like I’m bragging to mention a personal accomplishment, but I am very thankful when someone else does it for me! This doesn’t come from my strength. It comes from my weakness. True humility evidences itself as a sign of our well-being when the inner need to boast and promote ourselves diminishes.