“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,” – 1 Peter 5:6

“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” – 2 Chronicles 7:14

“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” – James 4:10

“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom. “ – Proverbs 11:2

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men ….” – Philippians 2:3-11

The Bible tells us that we should be humble and acknowledge the accomplishments of other people.  When we glorify the deeds of other people, we are advancing ourselves by doing what is right rather than what makes us look better.

When you focus on the good deeds of other people, you will gain the respect of other people over time.  People will notice your contributions and acknowledge those contributions without any effort from you.  Respect generated by other people is much more valuable than self-bragging regardless of the accomplishment. 

Focus on making other people look good and do not worry about your standing.  If you are doing right by other people, you will always gain the respect of other people without making a special effort.

Brady calling his brother

Brady is on the debating team for his college.  The team includes thirty-four college students who work together to support the entire group.  The team does individual debates with other colleges, and they enter regional contests that include many other colleges.  Brady wants to be a lawyer.  He was told by his high school teachers that participating on the debating team would help him develop the skills he needed to be a good lawyer.

Brady wanted as much acknowledgment as possible to help him when he applied for admission to law school.  When the debating team had meetings with the teachers who managed the team, Brady would always bring up points that he made during the previous debate.  He never acknowledged the strong points made by his teammates. 

When the time came to elect leaders of the group, Brady was not nominated for any of the leadership positions.  He did not understand why he was not acknowledged when he had contributed so much. 

He talked with his older brother about his status with the debating team.  After a long discussion, both boys agreed that Brady was not going to achieve his objectives with this debating group.  Brady’s brother made the point that Brady needed to do more than change colleges, he needed to change his approach to developing his skills.  He was only a freshman in college, so after switching colleges, he would have three years to make a new impression.

After Brady selected a new college and made the move during the summer, he began to think about his approach to the new opportunity.  The night before his first debating team meeting with the new college, he had a dream.  He did not remember the details of the dream, but he remembered the theme of the dream.  “Play for the team”  was the theme of his dream.  He thought about that theme for a couple of days and began to see the point.  He knew he needed to make a major change in his approach to the debating team.  He decided to focus his efforts on communicating the contributions of the other students and not mention his own accomplishments. 

Within a few weeks, Brady was very popular on the debating team, and he received more praise than he ever did at his previous college.   He was amazed at the difference in the way his fellow students treated him.  He applied this concept to the rest of his life.  He learned that by acknowledging other people and helping them, he would receive enough status without any bragging.

It is much better to be humble and allow other people to acknowledge our accomplishments than to brag.  When you do your best to help people, you are increasing your own value. Play for the team, not for yourself.

When we all work to help other people, we all benefit.

Published by Jim Brandt

Jim Brandt was an all-conference college football player and served as a Marine Corps pilot during the Vietnam War. He also started a software company and served as an executive for the fifth-largest bank in the United States. Brandt won the Democratic party nomination for Congress twice. He is married and has three children.