"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." -Emerson

Monday, March 23, 2009

A slice of humble pie...

Tonight, I am serving a free slice of pie...before you get too excited, it probably isn't the kind you are thinking about! Remove the visions of plump, juicy blueberries oozing out the side of light, crispy crust and instead replace it with a big o' honkin' slice of humble pie. That is the kind of pie I am serving up tonight...so, if you'd rather not enjoy a slice with me, I take no offense.

I never thought I had an issue with pride, until I realized that was prideful to think. I mean, to some degree we all have issues with pride. My issues tend to fall on the side where I think everything I do must be perfect and any deviations from such a path is a defect that I must perfect. Wow! Can you get any more pride filled than that? I believe that I must do things correctly all the time, and if I can't, then I can somehow fix it so I can. I am hoping I am not alone in this pride fest, I'd like to think there are some of you right there with me. The truth of the matter is we all have something we are covering up, something we are unwilling to admit, something inside of us that we either exalt above others or shamefully hide at such a degree that we become completely inauthentic beings.

I decided tonight I needed a little slice of humble pie. I am not quite sure what it was, probably just the thoughts God had flowin' in my mind after Bible study. I just realized tonight what a mini-god I think I am sometimes. I mean I think that my worrying and holding onto situations can really solve them in a God sized way. God just watched as I tripped flat on my face today after a situation that I was wholeheartedly desiring to give to Him, kept getting ripped from His clutches and back into my "mini-God" hands. Little did I know, God had already worked it out and I had an unnecessary stomach ache because I was believing myself to be higher than I ought: a mini-god with some control over life through my mighty, "mini-god" power of worrying.

My first bite of pie...
Humility (noun): "The state or quality of being humble; freedom from pride and arrogance; lowliness of mind; a modest estimate of one's own worth; a sense of one's own unworthiness through imperfection and sinfulness; self-abasement; humbleness."
I've highlighted the tastiest morsels. Humility is the state of being FREE from our pride, a modest estimation of own worth (the opposite of thinking I even have an ounce of the power God has to control situations), an understanding of how truly imperfect, sinful and unworthy we truly are.
My next bite...
"Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall."
Proverbs 16:18 NIV
You know what is going to happen every time I elevate myself into a position where I believe I have some control over circumstance, the same thing that happened just today...I am going to fall flat on my face. Pride ultimately leads to our own destruction and fall. If you don't like tripping, quit walking like you are more than you are!
And another bite...
"When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom."
-Proverbs 11:2 NIV
"A man's pride brings him low, but a man of lowly spirit gains honor."
Proverbs 29:23 NIV
Isn't a bit ironic that the purpose that pride serves (to bring ourselves honor), does the complete opposite? God is a God who likes to work the opposite of our human understanding. Where we thinking the best and brightest should be raised up, He chooses the lowest and slowest. And for what other reason than to show how truly powerful He is? Anyone can pick the best and make them the highest, but what kind of strength and power is required to choose the one on bottom and raise them to the top?
Licking the plate...
"But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NIV
Here is the kicker...or at least one of them. If you, like me, need to enjoy a big ol' whoppin' slice of this pie I am talking about, it requires you laying it ALL out there. If you really want to devour the freedom in not having to keep up the heavy curtain that pride hangs in front of our lives, you got to just drop it and say, "World, here it is!" Every last imperfection you are trying to cover up with the concealer of conceit, every single weakness you are veiling in a shroud of false perfection has got to be shown so that He can swoop in and take an imperfect weakling and make them a God perfect being. It usually ain't a pretty sight, but God isn't about being pretty, He is about being real.

And a wipe of my face...
"I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me."
1 Corinthians 4:3-4 NIV
"All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."
1 Peter 5:5-7 NIV
Just as I lick that plate clean, God needs to clean me up a bit. Humility, He says, is not some God-sanctioned self-bashing fest. We aren't to start judging and condemning ourselves for all the ways we fall short. No, there is One who has that position. We are though, to act humbly towards one another. To look at those around us in a higher esteem than we hold ourselves, with a heart of a servant. We are to humble ourselves under God's mighty hand, by just admitting how unworthy and undeserving we are in the scheme of everything and that if He so chooses to use such a lowly being, that it will be OUR honor to be able to serve such a powerful, wonderful, and merciful God. You ready for the last wipe? Check out 1 Peter 5:7 ("Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."). Is it a coincidence that it follows several verses that talk about humility? I don't think so! I think it is of the utmost significance. This is the line for those who think themselves mini-god's. Friend, this one is for me. If I truly want to be humble before my God, I need to learn that He needs to take all the anxieties, the insecurities and the difficulties from my self-created throne onto His all mighty one.
Here's to a full serving of some humble pie...
Until next time,
Your turn:
1.) Am I alone in this pie eatin' session?
2.) What do you try to cover up with pride? Be as specific or general as you please.
3.) Why is humility so tough for us human types?
4.) What are some specific ways to act humbly?

1 comment:

Hard Corps Wife said...

Nah, you're not alone! I gorge on this pie like it's an all you can eat buffet. ;-)

I will admit though that in the moments and situations I have "exposed" myself to others I have felt the most connected and at peace because it helps to be real.

I think a lot of times people's *perception* of you can reinforce certain behavior, even if it is just a front you're puttin on. If people always make comments like "you have it all together, you make ___ look so easy, your house is so clean" you don't want to let on that that isn't true...

Be humble by being real- you help others in the process and you'll feel a heck of a lot better by getting to be YOU and not the fake you in a perfect fake shell. At least this is what I try to remind myself... ;-)

I liked this post a lot Catherine! ;-)