I’ll be honest, humility is difficult for me. In part because I never really understood humility as a virtue growing up. In my house, humility and meekness were seen as undesirable and signs of weakness.
I was groomed from a young age to be assertive. It wasn’t my nature then. I wasn’t really aggressive enough in sports to be on the starting team. I played varsity basketball amd got put in when one of the starters needed “fresh legs”- I’m a runner. A runner with endurance. I might not be a sprinter, but set me on a track for 2 miles, and that’s my wheelhouse. So I ran track. It was non-contact, and competitive, yet mostly against my own personal best times. And I excelled in track. Ah, the memories. Ah, to have time to just go for a run.
So my parents always encouraged me to be more assertive; to get what I wanted, to be less meek. (It was always said like a naughty word)
Somewhere along the line, I began to lose the meekness of spirit, or at least shout it down with my pride and ego. And I would pity the women who were too shy to speak in public, or never had more than one friend, or struggled to express their emotions to others, or fled from confrontation. To paraphrase Abby Johnson, I’m Irish; sometimes I’m just looking for a fight. And that’s what developed in me through later high school and early college. A haughty, confrontational spirit of pride and general loud-mouthiness.
I look back now and I truly wretch at the pride which controlled my decisions and attitude in relationships.
Especially at times when I knew I was in the right, and the other party was wrong, I would relish in the “I told you so’s” and seek to inflate myself.
I see now how blind I was. And when I look to Jesus, I’m humbled every time.
Meekness is absolute power, under absolute control. Jesus was meek. He was always in the right, yet never sought His own advantage. He never revels in other people’s mistakes or short-comings. He was always gracious, always kind, always speaking the truth in love.
And that is where I fall so short- still! Whether right or wrong in a situation, I still struggle to have the wisdom to know not only what to say, but when to say it, or just keep my mouth shut (or my texting thumb still, as the case may be) and the older I get, and the more I walk with Christ, the more embarrassed and grieved I am when the old me, the dead me, the crucified with Christ me tries to zombie back into existence and take control.
“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time:” 1 Peter 5:6 KJV
I have to struggle to take every thought captive and pray forThe Holy Spirit to bridle my tongue. I have to submit myself to the Holy Spirit’s guidance and reproach. I have to practice humility. Practice.
But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. Because if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man looking at his own face in a mirror. For he looks at himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But the one who looks intently into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but one who does good works — this person will be blessed in what he does.
James 1:22-25 HCSB
I see how unbecoming it is as a woman to lack grace and poise and meekness. To lack discretion and good sense. To be aggressive and harsh, instead of quiet and gentle. As God continues to sanctify me, I pray He gives special attention to refining this in me, making me more like My Savior, and less like that old, dead, zombie I used to be.