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Self-Deprecation Is Not Humility

“Having a low opinion of yourself is not modesty. It’s self-destruction.” – Bobby Sommer

I was recently joking around with some friends, laughing about some of my quirks. Quickly, I beat them to the punch and said, “Trust me, I’m a weirdo.” They didn’t have to tell me; they were too late! Then one of my friends said, “Andrew, you put yourself down before anyone else even said anything.”

It was a joke…Right?

The older I get, the more I am realizing that those “jokes” aren’t simply jokes; they are a glimpse of the insecurity within my heart.

Self-deprecation is one of the top skills I’ve developed over 33 years. If there was a resume for our hearts, being certified in self-deprecation would be at the top of my accomplishments.

I’m not proud of it. I shouldn’t be proud of it. You shouldn’t be proud of it, either.

We often tear ourselves apart in our insecurities, disguising it as humility. Self-deprecation doesn’t just appear in sarcastic jokes directed towards ourselves. Have you ever found yourself complimenting someone else, only to wind up discussing how you’re not as talented or intelligent? Humility can be shown without putting yourself down. In fact, true humility has nothing to do with you; humility is displayed when we make someone else the focus.

“True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” – C.S. Lewis

A few truths to remember as we examine our own hearts:

  • We are loved by God and others
  • There are people who care, even if we haven’t met them yet
  • Our lives have great meaning, even if we can’t see it right now
  • The fingerprints of God are all over our lives, marking us as uniquely designed
  • We have great potential to create a better future through the choices we make
  • Life is always worth the living