Lately, I’ve just been getting the yawning sense of despair within me that pride is becoming an issue of mine. This is not to say that it wasn’t necessarily an issue before, but it certainly didn’t get to the point where it actually bothered my conscience. It is perhaps the result of numerous factors that I knew could potentially boost my confidence to a dangerous level, and now I find myself standing at that level. But, I suppose this is my first step towards improving in humility – the admission that I am proud.
This gets me to thinking about how complex of a thing humility is, and yet what a necessary component of our Christian life. The thoughts that always run through my mind go something like this:
1) Am I proud? If yes, why, and how can I bring it back? If not, am I sure of that, or am I deceiving myself? (Already there is a lurking measure of complete and utter self-discipline and willingness to admit to a terrifying fault.)
2) Am I humble? This is the tricky part, because if I say, yes, I’m humble, is that not in itself somewhat of a boast in my own humility? If not, where is the pride coming from, and this sends me in a vicious cycle looping back to question 1.
There are a ton of self-deprecating thoughts that follow after once I realize what a dangerous position I’m in. Things such as guilt for not being humble, frustration at seemingly never understanding what true humility is, shame at not being able to be humble while judging others for their pride – it’s all one great, big mess. But then I start thinking about it more and more, and I realize that true humility is when these questions and thoughts and anxieties don’t even bother showing their faces. It’s when it becomes such a natural state of selflessness that you don’t even realize that you are, in fact, humble. The Lord could only be an example of humility if He was paradoxically confident in His humility; however, He lived it out with His actions and it made Him the example of humility for us to follow. Understanding this is also another interesting point of the Christian walk because then, it becomes a question of not how can I improve my humility, but rather a question of when will I let Him be my humility and boast only in what He has done in me, for me, and through me? Humility is really still too complex of an attribute for someone as impulsive and cerebral as me to really understand, but I commit it in the hands of my Lord.