Humility worse than the pride


 Besides the true humility there is also a false humility. It is a vain “humility” that is constantly looking to see if someone notices it. That is the pride dressed in humble clothes.

From outside it looks just like a humility, and from within all passions bubble.

The real humble person is always quiet and calm: neither praises rejoice him nor humiliations exasperate him. And the falsely calm person, through the false piety, always penetrates towards human celebrations. He saw that the humility brings praises and honours to those who possess it, so he puts the mask of humility that he might be glorified through it. Such a person shows that he at least did not understand the essence of the humility.

He wants to talk for himself: “Oh, I the sinful!” “Oh, I the unworthy!” But, at the same time he expects others to deny it and say that he is not sinful.

And when they deny it, he feels good. If others disagree with him and if they say to him: “Well, you admit that you are sinful!” “Then, it’s true what they say about you!”, suddenly, it does matter what they say,  he feels hurt and asks: “And what they say about me?”

That humility can not save us. It is hypocritical and therefore bears the title: “Humility worse than the pride”.

St John of the Ladder says: “It is not he who depreciates himself who shows humility, but he who maintains the same love for the very man who reproaches him.”

The hypocritical humility does not present a great danger to the ordinary people in the world. Often they do not respect any genuine humility. The hypocritical humility is most dangerous to spiritual people, especially monks whose path is the path of humility. Because true humility is difficult to attain, the monks often pretend to be humble, to win cheap and instant fame. Often, even the pious Christians turn to that temptation – to pretend to be calm.

To avoid that false and pernicious humility, the Holy fathers advise us to talk nothing about ourselves: neither good nor bad, but to care for our soul and to fight internally with all its vicious movements.

If they reproach us, we need to remain silent and not justify ourselves. Otherwise, the pride will appear. If they praise us, we still need to be silent and not to contradict. Otherwise, the hypocrisy will appear.  Man should strive to gain internal humility, which neither turns bad from reproaches, nor from praises is stirred up.

                                     Archimandrite Seraphim Alexiev

English translate: Violeta Nedanovska

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