hu∙mil∙i∙ty n. Lat. humilitas,—see HUMBLE.

The ability to hold one’s power for the good

of others, not personal gain.

Definition of humility- not humiliation, low self esteem. Noble choice to forego status and use influence for the good of others. To hold your power in service for others.

Humility will not make you great and you can be great without it but it makes the great greater.

Humility is a reflection of the deep structure of reality

1. Humility is common sense.- none of us is an expert at everything.

– Expertise in one area counts for very little in another

A true expert should know this better than anyone

The expert must know what they don’t know far exceeds what they do know

*Competency extrapolation

To preach well to my church I need to listen to the wisdom already in the pews

Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave.” –Matthew 20:25-27 (NIV)

2. Humility is beautiful-

We are more attracted to the great who are humble- Sir Edmund Hillary

-humility has not always been viewed as beautiful it use to be viewed as defeat

-Mark 10:43- Jesus crucifixion changed the view of humility and greatness

Philippians 2:3-8 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

6 Who, being in very nature[a] God,

did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;

7 rather, he made himself nothing

by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,

being made in human likeness.

8 And being found in appearance as a man,

he humbled himself

by becoming obedient to death—

even death on a cross!

Western culture remains profoundly shaped by the cross. The cross changed everything.

3. Humility is generative- the proud person at a conference like this will go away with less than teh humble.  The humble place is a place of wealth. The place of flourishing. Sometimes it is in the criticism you know is true. Whether accidental or deliberate the humble place is the generative place.

4. Humbleness is persuasive- “On Rhetoric” Logos, pathos, ethos. Ethos the character of the persuader- the most significant part of persuasion. Humility makes someone trustworthy. The most believable person in the world is the person you know who has your best interest in their heart.

5. Humility is inspiring- “the real power of effective leadership is maximizing others potential.”

How does this work that humility inspires? when leaders appear aloof we admire them but when great leaders are other person centered we are inspired to be like them. Leader normally have 4 tools: ability, authority, character, persuasion. Some of the most inspiring leaders have no structural authority but truckloads of ability, character and persuasion. You don’t need armies to change empires or individuals. You need character and persuasion to have a huge impact. You don’t need the keys of the kingdom to impact the kingdom. You don’t need a majority to impact a nation. The cruciform character inspires.

*”because they seemed just like us we thought we could aspire to be just like them”

Humility is the noble choice to forgo your status, deploy your resources or use your influence for the good of others before yourself . . . The humble person is marked by a willingness to hold power in the service of others. –John Dickson, Humilitas


Humility is not just another leadership technique- a reflection of the deep structure of reality.