We often talk about the need to “be” humble. Today I want to speak of humility as something we can “do” something about. I’m not sure I was ever very acquainted with real humility until receiving understanding through recovery from addiction. Humility was always something pretty nebulous. I was taught that it was something we should possess, something we should seek, but if we thought we had it, we could be assured we didn’t. A pretty complicated concept for a child or an adult!
I was the oldest child of seven, the classic first child – the very responsible second mother type. My parents use to introduce me as their child who, “never gives them any trouble.” That was a hard description to live up to. I certainly was not perfect. I was a victim of the Fall just like the rest of mortality. In my mind the gulf between me and perfection was much greater than anyone knew. I was pretty sure I was humble because I didn’t like myself very much.
Today I understand that the feeling of self-disapproval does not constitute real humility. Humility is a keen awareness of God’s qualities and my need for Him. I must come to believe that, in spite of my weaknesses, God knows me, and loves me, and can be trusted with me and with the other people in my life!
Sometimes we use the adjective “humble” to describe someone who is shy or fearful, someone who lacks confidence, someone full of negative feelings about themselves, but a life of true humility is a life driven by the Gospel principles embodied by the 12 Steps. This is the description of humility as a way of life. It’s the description of a relationship:
1. Be honest about my need for help
2. Develop the hope of receiving divine help because of Jesus Christ
3. Trust Him with my problems and the problems of others
4. Be willing to look at the truth about me
5. Confess the truth about me
6. Become willing to be changed
7. Ask Him to change me
8. Become willing to look at how my imperfections have effected others
9. Make amends
10. Be accountable for my behavior every day
11. Seek His direction and power
12. Be willing to help others find this path and then allow this humble stance with the Lord to begin to order more and more areas of my life
When we use the word “humble” in regard to another person we are describing the kind of relationship they seem to have with God. To grow in humility is to live in greater and greater awareness of His magnificence and my tremendous need and to receive all the love and direction and power He extends my way. The word “humble” describes my part of a right relationship with God. Humility is never about me. It’s always about Us. Humility is not about loathing myself. It’s about loving my God!
By Nannette W.
Posted Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Copyright 2008 by Nannette W. All rights reserved. Making or sending copies is permitted if the page is not changed in any way and the material is not used for profit. This notice must be included on each copy made or sent.