Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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Does "humility" come from fear of God?

I want to address your question regarding humility by sharing with you what St. Isaac once said, "A person who mentions his pitfalls and sins to humble himself, though this is very good, is not called a truly humble person. A humble person is he who comes nearer to humility and TRIES to reach it. A truly humble person does not need to convince himself or force his thoughts to have the feeling of humility or invent reasons for that. But it is natural that he counts himself normally as nothing."

St. John El-Dargy also said, "It is not he who insults or blames himself that is the humble person, because who cannot bear himself? But the truly humble person is he who stands the blames and the insults of others without diminishing his love for them."

The late Bishop Youannes tells us, "Humility is not the mere outer appearance of a person, such as dressing in rough clothes, talking with a soft voice, or walking with a bowed head. Also it is not merely expressed by words a person repeats to others saying that he is a sinner, wicked and not worthy. Neither is it expressed by words one repeats to God declaring his triviality, humiliation, and spiritual poverty. Humility is the life one lives between himself and God, in which he feels he is nothing, even less than nothing, and whatever good or righteousness he has, is from God, and without God he is but dust, darkness and evil."

I want you to read in your Holy Bible these references: (Mark 9:35); (Sirach 5:2); (Matthew 11:29); (Philippians 2:5-7); (Isaiah 57:15); (Ephesians 4:1-2); (Colossians 3:12); and (Psalm 138:6). Also there are questions on the Southern Diocese website (Questions and Answers) which speak to "humility."

"Whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven" (Matthew 18:4).
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