Reminders: Humility is the Key to Lasting Success
by Ardith Hoff
“If only I had a little humility, I’d be perfect,” said Ted Turner, American media mogul and philanthropist––a man well known for his lack of humility. He said it to get a laugh. He is also the same man who said, “The Christian religion is for losers.”
Ted Turner is also well known for his generosity. He boasted: “I don't measure success in numbers, but I consider my contributions of more than $1.3 billion to various causes over the years to be one of my proudest accomplishments, and the best investment I've ever made. Those dollars have improved lives, saved species, fought disease, educated children, inspired change, challenged ideas, and opened minds; at the time of my death, virtually all of my wealth will have gone to charity.”
Someone like Mr. Turner might even think of himself as favored by God if he believed in God. But his kind of “success” is temporary. God’s view of success is different: “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.” Matthew 6:2 In other words, people who take pride in their accomplishments and generosity have already had their earthy honor and glory, but eternal glory is reserved for those who humble themselves and follow the will of God.
God wants us to be generous, but we are to do it for the right reasons, not to gain honor for ourselves or to gain favor with God, but because it is the right thing to do. How do we know if we are appropriately humble? The following quotes might be helpful: “Pride is concerned with who is right not what is right” – Ezra T. Benson. “A fool tells you what he will do. A boaster tells you what he has done. A wise man does it and says nothing.” – Unknown. And finally, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself. It is thinking of yourself less.” – C. S. Lewis.