Patience and humility are primarily Christian terms. Unfortunately, people often misinterpret them, which worsens the quality of their lives.
What are patience and humility?
Our lives consist not only of joyful experiences, but also of problems that we need to learn to overcome. To do this, we need patience. It means accepting the vicissitudes of fate calmly and keeping a clear mind even in the most difficult situations. It requires humility for a person to do this. It is one of the basic virtues in Christianity.
Humility is the opposite of pride. A humble person relies on the mercy of the Lord, he accepts with joy and gratitude what the Lord has bestowed upon him, and never sets himself above others. To be humble is to live at peace with oneself.
Patience is closely related to humility. If one is at peace with oneself and at the same time remains calm in difficult situations, it is easy for him to overcome them. An example of true patience and humility is Jesus Christ. He endured unbearable sufferings for the sake of the highest goal, but at the same time he did not get angry, he did not wish anybody ill, and he did not grumble against his fate.
A Twisted Interpretation
Meanwhile many people interpret the Christian notion of patience and humility in this way: one should tolerate his present situation, be it poverty, illness, humiliation and other unpleasant things, and put up with an uncomfortable situation because it was sent by God. But that is not what religion means: God does not send us difficulties to put up with them, but to overcome them.
Ranting about humility and patience and the need to “bear our cross” is often a kind of psychological defense for us. The need for humility and patience we explain our passive position in life, laziness, inactivity, refusal to take responsibility for our own destiny. That is why we tolerate poverty and bullying by superiors instead of looking for another job, or live with a person who treats us badly.
Because of this, the concepts of patience and humility have become somewhat discredited in today’s world. It is not uncommon to hear: “God said, if you are slapped on the right cheek, turn the left cheek: is that right?” We do not see the deeper meaning in the biblical statements and interpret them literally.
Thus, we often perceive humility and patience as a defect. We are presented as a weak-willed, submissive person, accustomed to bending before the world and other people, with a slave psychology.
True and False
Do these concepts have a place in the modern world? According to linguists, the modern concept of “humility” is a derivative of two words: “mortification” (meaning “moderation,” “limitations”) and “humility” (meaning “reconciliation,” “coming out of war”). Psychologically speaking, this has to do with control over one’s personal boundaries and reconciliation with what lies beyond them, outside our locus of control.
Thus, the lack of inner moderation generates passions that take over a person, subordinate him to himself. It can be anything: food, alcohol, drugs, gambling, online addiction, watching soap operas, finally, love addiction. Humility is the spiritual work of self-development in order to learn to control our passions and desires. As for the zone beyond our boundaries, it is about acceptance of all that is beyond our control. Constant dissatisfaction with the unjust order of the universe only takes away our vital energy and directs it in a destructive direction. This is expressed in the principle, “Give me the strength to change what can be changed, give me the patience to accept what cannot be changed, and give me the intelligence to distinguish one from the other.
It is better to use our strength and energy on the things we can change rather than on the things we cannot control. We can get a good education, find a decent job, and if someone violates our boundaries, we have the right to choose whether or not to let them. At the same time, there is no point in trying to change other people and reality in general. This is the meaning of true, not false, patience and humility.
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