Humility Post 7

A lot of Christians argue that sin is rooted in pride, but I’ve mentioned on here before that I prefer the formulation that all sin is rooted in displacing God from his rightful place.

Humility is apparently the antonym of pride, and that’s why I mention sin here. The book on humility that I’m reading beats a drum of humility is the foundation for Christian virtue because of the fact that pride is the foundation of sin. His point still works for my preference, so I’m just going to run with it. Why is humility so essential?

To support his claim, the author repeatedly brings up the fact that even the disciples disputed among themselves about who was the greatest of them. These were men that walked with Jesus and heard his preaching first-hand. It’s hardly believable that they would do this and yet that this event is included in scripture makes scripture all the more wonderful. The disciples didn’t understand. The disciples didn’t understand. The disciples didn’t understand. Again, the disciples didn’t understand

So the disciples didn’t understand.

This is why humility is so foundational to Christian virtue and Christian character. The disciples saw what we can only read about, and yet they didn’t understand. This reality helps me see that all of my own “understanding life” that was based on ungodly teaching and ungodly people was only an obstruction to God. It also helps me understand the reality of sin. If the disciples didn’t understand, then no one will ever fully understand. We can only put our faith in the hope that God will fulfill his promises.

Specifically, at work tonight a buddy mentioned something about “love” being impossible to define. I said I disagreed and attempted to paraphrase some of Paul’s teaching on “love”. As I believe there is good reason to admit that Paul’s teaching is the inspired Word of God, all that has to happen for God to fulfill his promises is that Paul’s definition is something that I can experience and evaluate. As a divorcee, I can confess that I didn’t “love” my ex-wife. That the relationship divorced is no big shocker then. As a father, though, I now have two responsibilities. I have to work very hard to love my ex-wife in order to prove to my daughter that God exists, moreover when my daughter wants to know what love is, I have to choose how to teach her. Obviously I will teach her God’s definition. Unlike other options, God’s definition is grounded in reality, easy to evaluate its application, and points to a relationship that can only be described as healthy and rich.

Seriously, what are my (our) other options? I guess I could use your definition? Or Hollywood’s? I know that if I try to develop one as I go, I will not succeed. Lesson learned.

Do you see how Christianity isn’t wish-fulfillment or an opiate of the masses? It is simply a religion which confronts reality for what it is. You and I are in a predicament. The predicament is that we can choose humility. The predicament is that humility seems to be at once worthy and suicidal. As for me, I’m choosing humility.

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3 comments

  1. noelleg44

    Let’s hope it doesn’t extend to suicidal. I had my daughter include 1 Corinthians in her marriage ceremony because it’s beautiful and because I had a sung low Mass – dear God, the organist was drunk and played off key – and wished it had been in mine so many years ago. I love your homilies – you will make a great preacher.

    Liked by 1 person

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