Mother Teresa Explains Humility


“But among you it will be different. Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant.”

Luke 22:26, NLT

Jesus Christ turned everything upside down. I know of no other teaching that might disturb his disciples as “humility.” I’m sure that they shook their heads and replayed what Jesus had said. (Maybe looking for a loophole?) This is not something you just “click into place,” rather it’s a complete overhaul of living as a disciple. Humility is a process, not an event.

“So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.”

Matthew 18:4

We may think children are wonderful, but hardly the stuff of the Spirit. And then Jesus shows and as we listen to him we are schooled further. Generally the attitude of a child can be seen as: innocent, simple, kind, eager, curious, relying on others, and of course–humble.

As a bona-fide broken believer I find I’m quite consumed with “me.” Life can revolve around “me.” The awful nature of my mental illness is I get absorbed with it, and it is all I think about. And I  hate this. It isn’t right. It isn’t healthy.

Mother Teresa, 1910-1997

I came across this list written by Mother Teresa that sheds further light for us. Her discipleship was radically different than mine, and I have much– very much to learn. Perhaps you might commiserate our mutual lack.

“These are the few ways we can practice humility:

To speak as little as possible of one’s self.

To mind one’s own business.

Not to want to manage other people’s affairs.

To avoid curiosity.

To accept contradictions and correction cheerfully.

To pass over the mistakes of others.

To accept insults and injuries.

To accept being slighted, forgotten and disliked.

To be kind and gentle even under provocation.

Never to stand on one’s dignity.

To choose always the hardest.”

Mother Teresa (The Joy in Loving: A Guide to Daily Living)

Once my church gave me a gold medal for humility. The elders took it back because I wanted to wear it all the time. Anyway, I like most of this list, with one/two questions— and I’ll let you find them.




cropped-christiangraffiti1 (1)


  1. I admire Mother Theresa and I like the list also… I just can’t walk past injustice blindly or quietly. I always feel there is something to do about it even if that something is only to call the Church to prayer. I once read: Humility is a strange thing… the minute you think you’ve got it… you’ve lost it.


  2. Jesus washing the disciples’ feet, Mother Teresa touching the outcasts are both amazing examples of humility. I laughed about your gold medal 🙂 It’s hard not to be proud about our own humility!


  3. Tina
    How true can it be ,me too ,suffering from mental illness,yes, which is very hard to bare ,but yes ,its like my world turns only around me,myself and I.Taking all of my energy trying to fight against my sickness and ofcorse not accepting it.Just feeling pain and guilt all the time,just blinds me to see what is around me.Thinking and talking always of my pain and torrments,pushes pepole away.
    It will be hard but I must seek to turn more my eyes on others around me and less on myself!
    I do tell myself that when I will get better,cause know it is very ruff for me,I hope to go back to visit the elderly pepole in the hospitals like I used to do a couple of years ago!

    The verse Mathieu 18:4 when Jesus was talking about becoming humble like a child, well I have a little granddaughter that I love so much and threw the clouds which I find myself in,looking at this little child of 2 ,I often think of this verse and think how simple is a child.Not complicating there lives by worries,but just lives in the Present Moment,being simple and loving.
    Looking at my little grand daughter can be an inspiration to me :))

    God Bless! Tina 🌻


Comments are closed.