Tuesday, March 14, 2017
“Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” Matthew 23:12
Humility seems like such a contradiction. We are easily tempted to think that the way to greatness involves letting everyone know all that we do well. There is a constant temptation for most people to put forward their best face and to hope others will see that and admire it. We want to be noticed and praised. And we often try to make that happen by the little things we do and say. And often we tend to exaggerate who we are.
On the flip side, if someone criticizes us and thinks ill of us it has the potential of being devastating. If we hear that someone said something negative about us we may go home and be depressed or angry about it the rest of the day, or even the rest of the week! Why? Because our pride is wounded and that wound can hurt. It can hurt unless we have discovered the incredible gift of humility.
Humility is a virtue that enables us to be real. It enables us to cut through any false persona we may have and simply be who we are. It enables us to be comfortable with our good qualities as well as our failures. Humility is nothing other than being honest and true about our lives and being comfortable with that person.
Jesus gives us a wonderful lesson in the Gospel passage above that is very hard to live but is absolutely key to living a happy life. He wants us to be exalted! He wants us to be noticed by others. He wants our light of goodness to shine for all to see and for that light to make a difference. But He wants it done in truth, not by presenting a false persona. He wants the real “me” to shine forth. And that is humility.
Humility is sincerity and genuineness. And when people see this quality in us they are impressed. Not so much in a worldly way but in an authentic human way. They will not look at us and be envious, rather, they will look at us and see the true qualities we have and enjoy them, admire them and want to imitate them. Humility enables the real you to shine through. And, believe it or not, the real you is someone who others want to meet and get to know.
Reflect, today, on how genuine you are. Make this time of Lent a time when the foolishness of pride is shattered. Let God strip away every false image of yourself so that the true you can shine forth. Humble yourself in this way and God will take you and exalt you in His way so that your heart can be seen and loved by those around you.
Lord, make me humble. Help me to be sincere and honest about who I am. And in that honesty, help me to let Your Heart, living in mine, to shine through for others to see. Jesus, I trust in You.