Introduction – “The Power of Humility…the Secret to Being Happy”

Final Front cover

 

The Secret to being happy?

Blessed or happy are the poor in spirit (the humble) (Matt. 5:3). This famous quote by Jesus during his Sermon on the Mount always baffled me. Humility as poor in spirit conjured in my mind a door mat…a person with low self-esteem and little confidence. It was the opposite of what my experience told me was the truth about who is happy.

Did Jesus mean for a person to be happy he must be obscure, insignificant, irrelevant, and unimportant?

The following statement better fits my old way of looking at who is happy…Blessed are the rich, the powerful, the beautiful, and the intelligent for theirs is happiness on the earth.

Wouldn’t a good God give us a simple key to being happy?

Part of my reason for writing this book is to rediscover and refine the broader meaning of humility. My experience and research has led me to believe there are two types of humility. The first type of humility is forged from difficult experiences. It is woven one stitch at a time with pain and struggle into the fabric of who a person is. The impetus for this type of humility could be enduring the crushing grind of poverty or a limiting defect or disability. It could also come from the stigma of being the wrong color, having the wrong address or belonging to a parent serving time.

This type of humility cannot be taught, for it is only learned the hard way. In a way this type of humility is still a choice. The person who endures this type of suffering could choose anger or bitterness, instead of humility, as many do. In these circumstances, to choose humility is to choose the grace of God and in time the grace of God always makes beauty out of ashes.

A person who exudes this type of humility is attractive to me. There is an aroma about the person that draws me in and causes me to want to know them better. I genuinely desire to know their story, learn from them and to understand how choosing grace has impacted them. Though it is tempting to emulate such a person, I realize the road to this type of humility is no easy path, and one I would not choose if I fully understood the price paid for it.

The other type of humility is the subject of this book. It can be taught and learned. You may have noticed that the well-mannered and mature person has learned well the discipline of humility. The good news is we can implement it into our lives by the choice of our own will.

Humble is not the first adjective that most people who know me would use to describe me. Friends might say that I am a happy person, but I am sure I could be happier. I am not qualified to write a book about happiness because I am so happy, nor a book about humility because I am so humble. Instead, I am writing a book about humility because of my great need to study and understand humility.

My only qualifications for writing this book are that I am human. I too have experienced the damning effects of pride and how it can rob happiness. This book is about my attempt to pursue happiness through humility, by digging deeper into the secret Jesus revealed to us when He spoke from the mountain, “Blessed (or Happy) are the Poor in Spirit (the Humble), for theirs is the Kingdom of God” (Matthew 5:3).

What does it mean to seek the way of humility?

One morning while meditating on this short little sentence, it struck me to look up the word humble in the dictionary. There ae many synonyms, such as insignificant, that give the word humble a negative connotation, but there are other synonyms, such as sincere, respectful and mature, that tells a very different story. These synonyms and my research and reflection on these words are what gave me the idea for this book.

You may reflect on your life and think… “I am relatively happy. I have a good life. At least I should be happy,” but deep inside you know things could be much better and that you could be living a much happier life. In the following chapters we will explore some ideas about how to achieve greater happiness, and hopefully we will conclude that we can find happiness through practicing humility in all the major relationships of our life.

We will learn that humility is a choice. A decision to choose humility is a decision to be happier!!! The following are five areas where humility will add to our happiness.

Humility will make us happier…
With our relationship with God.
With ourselves.
With our inner circle of family and friends.
With our community.
With our world.

In summary, happiness is the result of the good feelings that come from good relationships in our lives. To move towards greater happiness, we must move towards improving our relationships with God, with self, with family and friends, with our community, and with our world. How do we maintain all these good relationships? Jesus is telling us the best way is found through humility.

For more on this subject go to How Humility Will Make You Happy with Yourself.     

 

Clay

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