The word "humble" was woven into a spider web by a selfless spider named Charlotte describing a memorable little pig named Wilbur. This was one of Charlotte's concluding antics in the children's classic, "Charlotte's Web" by E.B. White. When Wilbur was declared "humble" by this sweet spider, he didn't respond with pride that he was humble. That would have been the opposite of being humble.
I would like to say that I am humble, but often I am not. I compare myself with others to see if I am possibly better. I thrive on praise, any kind.... and boasting is often on the tip of my toungue. I have been told that this is a normal human trait. I would prefer to be more like Wilbur. It has to come from deep within. It really is not a behavior. It is an internal attribute.
"Even though I have become somebody, I still have to prove I am somebody," quips Madonna, a well-known star. Her inner thoughts of herself honestly spill out. We inherently have the need to prove ourselves.
The ultimate, seemingly unreachable, example of pure humility was Jesus. His purpose was not his own. He totally focused on the Father. When he was under pressure and pain, love and compassion poured out.
As a follower of Jesus, I am called to deny myself. I have total need for His spirit in me.
I have been reading about the Apostle Paul in the Bible. In I Corinthias 4:3 and 4, he says that he did not worry about anyone judging him. He didn't even judge himself. He left all all in God's hands. God is the judge. And HE is good and has perfect thoughts toward us. Paul was a small man, I have heard, but he was also a bold man and had reason to be proud of all that was accomplished through his life.. things that mattered for eternity. He knew it was not him but God, alone, working through him. He was humble.
Through his life of sin and pain, he didn't allow all that to take over his identity. Only God's opinion counted. The verdict was declared in Christ and he could be an open book to everyone, knowing that he was forgiven and made new. He had nothing to hide. His humble vulnerability brought messages of hope to each one who are trapped into trying to be so good and worthy of commendation. True goodness is out of our hands.
"Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less." (C.S. Lewis) and I might also add that it is knowing that God deserves all the glory.