Saturday, September 7, 2013

Humble Pie

1 Peter 5:5-6

King James Version (KJV)
Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.

Humility is so difficult for most people, I think.  Either we consider it a weakness or we have a warped sense of what the word means.  I don't consider myself to be prideful, but at the same time I'm not the most humble person around, either.  Beliefnet put a link on Facebook today to take a quiz on how humble we are.  I took the quiz, and the results were much of what I expected.  My results stated that I have some pride but am working on changing it.  Seems like I've been trying to change it forever.  

I was reading 'The Screwtape Letters' by C.S. Lewis today.  For those of you who may not be familiar with this book, Lewis writes from the perspective of a demon named Screwtape, who writes letters to his nephew giving instructions on how to best derail someone's faith.  Screwtape often refers to God the Father as 'The Enemy,' so please don't let that confuse you when you read the quotes.  Here is a quote from the book that I find myself often believing:

"You must therefore conceal from the patient the true end of Humility.  Let him think of it not as self-forgetfulness but as a certain kind of opinion (namely, a low opinion) of his own talents and character.......Fix in his mind the idea that humility consists in trying to believe those talents to be less valuable than he believes them to be."

I oftentimes have a low self-opinion.  If I were asked to name my talents I would be hard pressed to find even one.  If someone were to compliment me I would often dismiss it in favor of my own much lower self-opinion.  What I should be doing is graciously accepting their compliment for what it is without allowing it to either inflate my ego or dismissing it out of hand.

On the next page Screwtape continues to write:  "The Enemy wants him, in the end, to be so free from any bias in his own favour that he can rejoice in his own talents as frankly and gratefully as in his neighbour's talents--or in a sunrise, an elephant, or a waterfall.  He wants each man, in the long run, to be able to recognise all creatures (even himself) as glorious and excellent things."

Earlier in this post that we often think humility as a weakness.  We want to be recognized for our accomplishments or the good things we do.  This is not God's desire for us.  He wants us to put the needs of other people ahead of our desires without seeking out a pat on the back from other people.  In due time God will give us all the recognition we will ever need.

While writing this my husband kept interrupting me with what he is doing on his video game.  I had the thought that he is interrupting my train of thought and this blog is more important than his game.  Immediately following I had this verse come to my mind:

Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

Yes, I most definitely need to work on my pride.

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