In this video, Romanian Metropolitan Serafim (Joanta) of Germany speaks about humility from an Eastern Orthodox Christian perspective, quoting St. Isaac the Syrian (Isaac of Nineveh).
Video source: Mitropolia-ro. de, Nürnberg, 22.09.2021
A Father was praying to God that He would give him humility… Yet he saw that he never humbled himself, that he is still proud, that he judges others, that he considers himself better than others…
And he prayed to God: “Lord, why won’t You give me humility? Because I really want to be humble…”
And God told him, He gave him a spiritual thought…
“I don’t give you humility, but I give you opportunities for becoming more humble…”
That is daily events by which we must humble ourselves, that is to accept others resistance, to accept their judgments, to accept the sorrows, and avoid becoming easily saddened… And if you receive all these without becoming cast down then it means you’re humbling yourself.
So again, God won’t give you humility right away, but He will send you daily opportunities for your becoming more humble… This is very interesting… Because if God would give us everything we ask so easily then we would become lazy and proud… so God knows best what each one of us needs… The proud one, the angry one, the one who takes revenge on his brother, he has no peace and will never find peace unless he tries to forgive, to be patient, to be tolerant… to deny his justice and his thoughts, deny his will… One should leave everything in God’s hands… and that’s when he or she will find true rest for his heart, for his soul.
Look what St. Isaac the Syrian says about humility. He is a great saint of the 7th century. The saint addresses those who want to listen to him and says (among other things):
“Unless one humbles himself, he will not receive the reward for his work.”
Because the reward is not for the good work you do, but for your humility… Do you hear that? You can keep the fasting discipline, pray, do good deeds, but if in all these you don’t humble yourself and you don’t see your infirmities and you don’t see God in every good thing you do (because without God we can do nothing), then you don’t receive the prize, for the reward is not for your good works, it is for your humility… Do you hear? How beautiful…
Humility attracts the grace of God upon us. We should never lose hope and trust that God wants the best for us, He wants our salvation and not our perdition… Amen. Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. Amen.