Practicing Humility in 30 Minutes
by Tommy Barnett
The Bible highlights the importance of having a humble attitude. Such humility is built on the foundation that you are indeed special, dearly loved by God, and created to accomplish His unique plan for you.
What can we do in thirty-minute blocks to make us more humble people?
A tremendous amount!
You hear a lot of talk about having an attitude of humility, but you don’t see it as often as you might expect. Here are a few things I’ve observed over the years that can help you develop that spirit of humility—and these are all things that you can practice every day in a half hour or less.
• Come up with a series of phrases or responses
you can use in different situations to indicate that you are nothing special or that your action deserves no special recognition. Uttering phrases like “it was my pleasure” after being thanked, or “I’d be happy to help you with that” are examples of this kind of self-effacing, other-person-first kind of thinking.
• Develop ways you can compliment or give
credit to others who have worked with you on projects. This comes off as phony unless you can truly muster an appreciation for the contributions or abilities of those with whom you have worked. Taking the time to identify and then communicate the positive effort, skills, and ideas that people have provided will probably change your attitude about yourself as well as those whom you are praising.
• Get together with coworkers, friends, and
family members with the sole intention of listening to what’s on their minds. If you can do this without the expectation of taking over the conversation or topping their miseries with a litany of your own, you will encourage them. Placing the focus on others will convey the worth you assign to them in your mind and heart.
• Contact someone with whom you have had a
disagreement and admit that you were wrong. When you sincerely acknowledge your error or apologize for something you did that was wrong or inappropriate, it tells the individual that you are an honest, well-intentioned person committed to truth and relationship—that it’s more important to you to be connected than right.
• Go out of your way to thank others who have
helped you grow. They have added value to your life; acknowledge their input and the positive influence it has had on who you are and what you are capable of producing. The fact that you are recognizing their superiority as the teachers and your status as the student reflects a humble and grateful spirit. In the same vein, look for someone who desires growth in an area of expertise you possess, and then offer to mentor him or her.
• Embrace someone else’s idea that competes
with one that you have offered. Indicate clearly that you feel his or her idea is a better concept and will be more useful than your suggestion. Give that idea your full support as you move toward a solution or final product, accepting it as if it were your own but without trying to take any credit for it.
These are just a few ways to practice humility in short periods of time.
Adapted from The Power of A Half Hour by Tommy Barnett used by permission of WaterBrook Press, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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