The Bible says (in a couple of places) that God draws near to the humble but resists the proud.
And who could blame Him really? A truly humble person is so much better to hang out with. They are more interested in what the other person has to say. A humble person is comfortable in their own skin. In fact, they're not thinking about themselves at all, much less worrying about themselves.
There's a lie that tells us that humility is having a low opinion of oneself. That humble people hate themselves. The lie screams that to be humble you have to tell yourself "I'm no good. I'm worthless. I've failed again. Why would God ever love a sinner like me?"
I know this because I've believed the lie for more years than I care to admit. I thought to be a good Christian I had to crucify myself. Tell myself how terrible I was, how much of a failure I was, how much I hated myself.
These are lies that I believed and this is NOT humility.
We have a tendency to overcomplicate things here on this side of the paper sky. We hold ourselves to a perfect standard and destroy ourselves when we fail, but Jesus has already borne our sins on the cross. To try to force perfection within ourselves is like telling Christ "thanks for dying and everything, but I don't need it. I got this." Accept yourself, warts and all because Christ already has.
I know I have faults, I know I mess up, but God loves me as I am. Not some perfect future version of myself. Not my potential. But He loves and died for who I am. Right now.
If God can accept me as I am, then so can I. When I fail, I pick myself up and try to do better next time. No more laying face first to the earth, wallowing in my own self hatred.
That being said, I say a person can be humble and believe that they have greatness inside of them. No one ever achieved greatness until they believed it first.
In Donald Miller's Storyline he shares a story that resonates this fact.
"Years ago I read a book by Dwight Eisenhower in which he talked about his mother's belief that every child should be raised to understand if they didn't exist their family would fall apart. Imagine that for a second. Imagine a world in which every person understood they were needed in the world, that they could be the solution to a problem. Eisenhower is best known for being President, but before he was President he led troops in World War II, uniting the allies in the fight against Hitler. And why? It's likely because he was raised to believe the world needed him and even expected something from him."
I believe there is greatness inside of me, that I am meant for great things. But more importantly there is greatness inside of YOU! I believe YOU are meant for great things. The world needs you.
An "awe shucks" attitude and self hatred won't get us there. Is there a story burning inside of you? A business? An idea for ministry that you are afraid to try because you think it's too big only for others? Do it! Seriously! There is a huge possibility that only you can.
Don't believe the lies. Humility is simply caring more about others, not caring less about yourself. Mine the gold from your soul. Go and be great. Please. The world needs you...really. I'll go with you.