To understand humility better it is useful to consider what humility is not. It has been said that “humility is truth.” Unfortunately we can know the truth about ourselves where the knowledge has no effect at all on what we do. Knowing is not enough. Humility is to be found in choices based on true self-knowledge. Do we act in a humble way? Humility, of course, is not an act. It cannot be put on; it can only emerge from within.
The basic truth of human beings is that we are all part of the plan of God. In that plan he created us to become spiritually mature—wise and free, able to love and even to become like God. The core of humility therefore is following the lead of God for goals that reach far beyond short-sighted ones. Humility says: God is the leader; I am the learner and follower. The enemy of humility is pride. Self-esteem is not pride. After all if I am made in the image of God there has to be something noble about me.
Protect me, Lord, from the conceit that I am sufficient to myself and can manufacture my own perfection. Yet let me never forget the glory that you have planted within me as a seed of divine life.