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Lessons in Humility: Finding Insight in Unexpected Places

Updated: Aug 2, 2023

The puzzle pieces of a story can appear in unexpected places. It started at a Fellowship of Christian Athletes event in Baton Rouge, where my husband and I crossed paths with a remarkable speaker and former NFL coach, Sherman Smith. His words lingered in my mind: "Humility isn't thinking less of yourself but about yourself less." As the days passed, my curiosity was piqued by an episode of Father Mike Schmidt's Bible in a Year Podcast (Ascension Press), in which he dissected Isaiah Chapter 1 (day 192). And then, today (July 16) in Sunday school, we dug into James Chapter 4. As these seemingly disparate pieces fell into place, I felt this post beginning to take shape.

I want to point out the strikingly similar theme between Isaiah 1:13 and James 4:3. Both discuss the importance of humility and the dangers of pride. Isaiah warns that even the most righteous acts are worthless if done with a proud heart, and James urges believers to resist the allure of worldly success and seek humility instead.

Reflecting on these passages, I can’t help but apply Coach Smith's words from the FCA event. His simple message about humility meaning "thinking about yourself less" packs a complex punch. These verses aren’t just about avoiding arrogance - they are about realizing our place in the world and putting others before ourselves.

The message of prioritizing humility and others before oneself is evident in Coach Smith's teachings and the verses of Isaiah and James. As a coach, my daily "walk the talk" coaching philosophy can be enriched through the lessons learned from this story as a whole and its pieces. I can apply the message of humility to inspire my athletes to do the same, shaping a positive team culture that values ethical and moral conduct. By embodying these values in my behavior, I can lead by example and set a high standard for my athletes, both on and off the court.

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