Intellectual Humility : Part 2

In our Easter chapel service, we talked about how Jesus Christ is the perfect example of intellectual character and virtue. We have been talking about the following intellectual character traits all semester:

  • Intellectual courage, which helps you to find the truth and live out that truth.
  • Intellectual honesty is how we use the truth we know. It is the link that goes from our thinking to our actions.
  • Intellectual tenacity is the character of being very determined and persistent in seeking truth and knowledge.
  • Intellectual carefulness involves being patient, diligent, and careful in the search for truth and knowledge.
  • Intellectual humility is seen in those who want to know the truth, and therefore constantly recognize that they, like all people, are sinful and capable of error.

As we continue to talk about humility, let’s look at Proverbs 11:2 which says: “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.”

What is the opposite of humility? Pride and arrogance. Let me give you an example. I love cooking. I love getting the ingredients out, putting it all together, and making a delicious meal for my family. I get the recipe and see how much of each ingredient I need and I do what the recipe says because I don’t know how to make this specific meal. I’m humble enough to know I can’t make that meal without the recipe.

What if I was arrogant and thought that I could make the meal without the recipe? What if I was so prideful that I tried to make the meal without the knowledge of how to make it? I wouldn’t know what I was doing and I would make a horrible, disgusting meal that didn’t taste good. It would be embarrassing!

That’s what we do when we think we know the answer to something without knowledge or instruction. Sometimes, we think we know how to do a type of math problem and get the correct answer, but we really don’t know how to work it out correctly. Being humble allows us to gain wisdom and knowledge through truthfully searching and trying to learn something by listening to instruction. That is exactly what intellectual humility can help you with. It allows you to be humble enough to admit you don’t know everything and to truly search for knowledge and be open to instruction. It gives you an edge over others who think they know everything when they really don’t.

Intellectual humility causes you to strive for truth! That is what this verse is all about. All pride does is makes you think you know what you’re talking about and makes you think you are really striving for truth when you aren’t. Then, you end up embarrassed and disgraced because you really didn’t know the truth and you really weren’t full of wisdom.

With the virtue of humility, you will always be searching for truth, wisdom, and knowledge. You will be listening to instruction and asking questions.  And the next thing you know, you will be smarter, more knowledgeable, and maturing in wisdom every day more and more. That is your job as students. Your job is to learn real truth, to recognize true beauty, and to display goodness in your own life.

Listen to me as I say, your job is to truly try to learn something today. As you try your best on the ERB testing, strive to recognize the questions that you know and can answer. But also be humble enough to desire to get to know the answer for the ones you don’t know.

With God’s help, we can continue to seek true knowledge and wisdom as a community of intellectually humble people at ACA.