Humility does not come easy to us humans or at least not to this human. It was a confusing concept for me to grasp in early sobriety. If I am being totally honest, even today, it can be a bit confusing. Being proud of your accomplishments is a good thing especially if they are genuinely your accomplishments. We all know those people who will take credit for things that perhaps they didn’t have much invested in and now feel above others. Being humble is a good thing especially if you are genuinely humble. We all know those who are falsely humble, devaluing themselves or their contributions to appear humble.
In Lamentations, Jeremiah cries out to the Lord against the destruction of Jerusalem at the hands of the Babylonians. While you might think he would be praying and begging the Lord to fix this, Jeremiah knows that the people of Jerusalem had sinned against God. Their pride in how beautiful and great their city was, without the Humility of acknowledging that it was the Lord that gave them these things caused their own destruction. Jeremiah was lamenting the human suffering that was taking place and not the city itself. He was begging the Lord to return.
“All who pass your way clap their hands at you; they scoff and shake their heads at Daughter Jerusalem: “Is this the city that was called the perfection of beauty, the joy of the whole earth?”Lamentations 2:15 NIV
Thinking that it is all about us turns us away from true humility. Even though we reply to a compliment or praise with “It was the Lord’s doing”, if we are not sincere then we have turned from the Lord and have not achieved true humility. Our houses will crumble and our pride will turn to shame. False humility as a way to gain more compliments and recognition, in the end, fools no one, but yourself.
“As long as we placed self-reliance first, a genuine reliance upon a Higher Power was out of the question. That basic ingredient of all humility, a desire to seek and do God’s will, was missing.”Step 7 BB pg 76
After 30 years of living in our home, the landlord informed us he had other plans for the house. We looked everywhere for a new home we could afford, whether renting or buying. We had no real luck until we started to pray before our house search. The Lord lead us to our current home. It was easy to purchase and everything happened fast and smooth as butter. While we did our part in the home searching and I worked really hard when came to sending all the paperwork to the mortgage company, I still feel it was the Lord’s doing that we got our home. I am humble enough to know that it was not all of me or my husband that made it happen.
When Jerusalem turned from God and praised themselves for their fine city and the things they had they faced destruction. Not at the hand of the Lord, but at the hand of the Babylonians. Their things of the earth fell into ruin and others scoffed. We love to see the mighty fall, to see the great get their comeuppance. True humility is knowing that you could not do the small or the big things by yourself. That is true whether you are a person, a family, a group, a city, or a nation.
In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.1 Thessalonians 5:18 KJV