Humility and Respect

Professional athletes often forget the importance of humility and respect. I’ll never forget the 2014 NFC championship game and the words of Richard Sherman, a flamboyant, outspoken cornerback with the Seattle Seahawks. Sherman made a spectacular play to put his Seattle team into the Super Bowl. But within minutes and with untamed emotion, he went on a verbal tirade slamming an opposing player and elevating himself as “the greatest cornerback” in the game of football. Sherman, an otherwise intelligent individual, by his actions dismissed two essential workplace qualities: respect and humility. Sadly, it didn’t reflect well on his team or himself.

How important is personal humility and respect in the workplace? First humility…there is an old saying about one’s talent and/or ability: the more talented we are, the less we should need to tell people about it. True! Paul writes in Romans 12:3, “not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think”. Consider also that Jesus, the very Lord of Creation remained humble. In fact, the Bible says Christ “made Himself of no reputation and took on the form of a servant “(Phil 2:7). He was all-knowing and all-powerful yet he didn’t publically elevate Himself or demand fanfare. Neither should we!

Second, more than anything else, people in the workplace (employees, customers, competitors, etc.) want to be treated with respect. I Peter 2:17 says “to show proper respect to everyone”. The word respect comes from the Greek word timao, meaning to place a great value on something. Because God created all people in His image, workplace Christians show respect by treating everyone with courtesy, politeness and kindness.   

Your workplace challenge is to remain humble by putting on the mind of Christ (Phil 2:5). Don’t publically elevate or compare yourself to others. Instead, remember that biblical humility is simply recognizing a dependence on God. Likewise, always show respect to others, regardless of how you’ve been treated. Demonstrate respect with simple, yet powerful actions; encourage, praise, recognize, listen, show gratitude, etc. So, make today count with a humble attitude and respectful demeanor. I promise it will reflect well upon you and your workplace team! Do it for His glory!