Okay, if we recognize it in ourselves, we are not humble. Humility is one of things like the beating of our heart. We're only aware of it when there's a problem with it. It is something we're not conscious of; it just is.
I always encouraged my children, when pondering a future spouse, to look for friendships with who are humble. Humble people are servants. Servants make good leaders. Servants take initiative and direction. This is the kind of spouse we want. I have one of those spouses. He's very humble. He doesn't call attention to himself. In fact, most of the time, he works hard to say as little as possible. That's another sign of humility; knowing that not everything I have to say is important. Clearly, I have a long way to go with that one.
The one thing, though, which I think is most telling that someone is not truly humble is when he has to regularly give a list of his accomplishments, achievements, and qualifications, as if every human exchange is a job interview. You know what I like? I like it when I meet someone, and over the course of the friendship, I discover things about that person. Perhaps she never told me that she can read Chaucer in the original Old English; she works every day at a homeless shelter handing out food; she has won awards. These things just come up in conversation; they aren't presented like trophies. I have met people like that. When these things come out, they are embarrassed, because they don't want you to make a fuss about them.
What do we have to recommend ourselves? Nothing. Our hearts are black with sin. More often than not, we will serve ourselves than someone else. We think everything is about us. All I have about me that is worthy of note is that I have been the recipient of God's grace. Anything of value I have comes from my Saviour.
I was thinking of this in relation to my daughter who works with people who have made great accomplishments. She tends to be more like her father, thankfully. That, too, is due to God's grace. I think she is beginning to recognize the difference between real humility and that which is worn like a garment. I think that's a good thing, and yes, another gift of God's grace.