Wednesday, July 1, 2009
In conjunction with what I wrote yesterday, the question always comes up about humility. Aren’t we taught that we should be humble? As King Benjamin said, “For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father” (Mosiah 3:19).
So how does thinking of yourself as brilliant, talented, and fabulous fit in with humility? To answer that question let’s first define humble. My dictionary says humble is “not proud or haughty: not arrogant or assertive.” The Savior knew he was brilliant, talented, and fabulous. But He was humble because he was not proud, haughty, or arrogant about it. He was the Son of God. He knew that, but didn’t need to boast or flaunt that fact in order to make Himself feel good. Instead it was like a foundation to His character that everything else built upon but doesn’t need to be constantly referred to or pointed out.
My favorite saying about humility sums this up. People who are humble don’t think they are less than other people. Instead they think less of themselves than they do of other people. In other words, when we know we are children of God, our brilliance and talent is so much a foundation to our character that we don’t need to be constantly proving it to others (pride and haughtiness). Instead we forget about ourselves and use our inherited brilliance and talent to serve others. The key to humility is not demeaning yourself or thinking you are less than others; the key is in understanding where your brilliance and talent come from. As Williamson put it, “Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.”
Part of Living in Truth means understanding the truth of who and what you are--a talented and brilliant child of royal birth.