False Humility | Pa-humble Effect

Dear friend,

Praised be Jesus and Mary (now and forever)!

A few months ago, I was drafting my essays and personal statement for my medical school application. I carefully phrased my statements worried that they might think I am boastful. I would not want that. There was that blowing-my-own-trumpet feeling (nagbubuhat ng sariling bangko) and it made me wonder if that’s a sin. (Oh, yes. I like pondering over this kind of things. Haha!)

A Franciscan friar, Bro. John Soh, of Church of St. Mary’s of the Angels advised me in his email,

I ask you not to be afraid to write out your achievements as well as your gifts as you discern & pray while writing this letter, Truth is to be found not in false humility where you don’t acknowledge your gifts & achievements but to acknowledge them and attributing them to God as the Source of your gifts & achievements and hence giving Him the Glory & Praise due to His Goodness to you.

I ask you to write in Truth of your talents which the Good Lord has imparted to you for all of us are created with gifts.”

I followed his advice. I realized two important things.

Firstly, we must acknowledge our gifts and achievements. Be honest. When someone tells you that your exam score was amazing, do not deny it. You cannot just say “Ah, no. It was actually a mess and I made a lot of mistakes.” or “I was just lucky.” These are common but wrong responses. Do not fall into this trap of false humility, which is exactly the same as lying. Remember to humbly acknowledge their praises because, in the first place, all of us was created by God with different talents/gifts/charisms.

And then, we must attribute our gifts and achievements to God, the source. Rather than the reply mentioned above, we can humbly say, “Oh, thank you. Actually, God helped me a lot during review and even during the test itself.” Isn’t that beautiful? You were still able to reply in a modest way, but it was definitely not false humility. And, congratulations! You just became a living testimony of God’s goodness. All for God’s glory!

After I learned about this concept of false humility, I was able to write my essays and personal statement more confidently and with peace in my heart. I felt happy with the idea that this could be a form of evangelization. 🙂

All for Jesus!

Kristine G. Veneracion


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