“A man who refuses to admit his mistakes can never be successful, but if he confesses and forsakes them he will get another chance. ” Proverbs 28:13

By John E. Schrock, Businessman

Underline the key concepts found in this principle.

Humility is an awareness of our continual need for growth, not thinking of ourselves more highly than we ought to, and having a proper respect for the contributions that others have made to our success. It is not always easy to be humble, to say, "I made a mistake" or "I'm wrong." We all like to be right because it makes us feel good and accepted. It boosts our ego and self-worth. As good and right as we may be or want to be, we all fall short and make mistakes. Since life is a learning experience, we must learn how to handle these difficulties.

If we refuse to admit our mistakes or wrongdoing, we stop the growth and progress in our lives. The Proverb says, we'll "...never be successful." There is a right way and a wrong way to deal with a fault or mistake. Our judicial system says, "Don't admit or say anything, because it may be held against you in a court of law," which encourages us to hide our wrongdoing and live with guilt against our better judgment. This leaves the following unfinished business that will haunt us:

1. Guilt, which will bruise our conscience to where we cannot even trust ourselves.

2. Hardness, we become defensive and protective, because we are afraid to be real.

This is not the way God has designed life. He encourages us to be honest and responsible for our actions. We cannot be healed or forgiven without admitting Or acknowledging our weaknesses. A wholesome way to handle wrongdoing is to admit it, confess it and forsake it as instructed in the Proverb above. We will not forsake wrongdoing until we humble ourselves and confess it. This means accepting the responsibility for our behaviors.

Our judicial system tells us, "Don't admit anything-make them prove it!" which encourages us to believe we can get away with anything that cannot be proven. That's not the way to the good life. The good life comes from practicing humility, recognizing that we are not always right or complete in ourselves. We must always face reality. When we do wrong we have personal guilt and responsibility, even if it can't be proven. Guilt is of the heart, not only when proven by law. Proud people won't listen to the truth, but bully ahead in self-conceitedness deceiving themselves. But a humble person will glory in the successes of others and also recognizes and gives credit to others for their successes. Truly successful people always give credit to others rather than boasting about how great they are.

There are three great benefits of being humble and practicing humility:

1. We will have personal peace because we will not be on a defense mode since we will have nothing to hide.

2. We will be at peace with others because we will look for and recognize the good qualities in others rather than having an over-inflated opinion about ourselves.

3. We will gain great favor from God and others because we are transparent and not afraid of criticism. We will know when to be on offence or defense.

Humility is one of the finest and greatest assets in a person. To loose it is a devaluation of oneself. It is like the oil in a machine. It lasts longer, runs quieter, and gets the job done. It works rather than squeaks.

Sometimes it is better to be quiet and be considered wrong, even when we could prove our innocence than to speak out in justification. Sometimes it is better to just swallow hard and wait for time to prove us right.

I'm sure our judicial system was set up with the intent of protecting and defending the innocent, but we must be careful or we will use our judicial system of law as the standard of righteousness, while neglecting God's higher law. Guilt cannot be removed from a person without first humbling himself, admitting, confessing and forsaking. As per the Proverb, only God's higher law of humility will rehabilitate the guilty and build a just society, family, or business. Try humility, it will gain you great favor.

This principle is part of the one year character development program: Foundations For Achievement.

Thoughts to Ponder:
You will never go through life doing everything right, but humility may help people think that you do.