Please don’t look up hather. It’s not a word. But I want it to be. But humility, submission and obedience, last time I looked, are words in the English dictionary. But, man alive, we are doing our best to get them kicked out, aren’t we? How did we get to a place where these are really bad words?
I have been doing a small painting series for an upcoming show and I have been using humility as my theme. I have been thinking about it a lot and praying about it. I want humility in my life but it is really hard to accomplish. So lets talk about this for a minute. Why is humility so hard to accomplish?
a modest or low view of one’s own importance; humbleness.
submission |səbˈmi sh ən|
1 the action or fact of accepting or yielding to a superior force or to the will or authority of another person
compliance with someone’s wishes or orders or acknowledgment of their authority
Based on the definitions above, I get the idea that in order to be humble or gain humility, we have to submit to or obey something or someone who we believe is greater than us in some way.
But, wait. In order to do that, we have to take stock of ourselves, realize that we are not all that, and that someone over there may be more than all that. Like who? Who should we submit to? Or obey? Our spouses? Some would think, no way. Why not? Why did we marry them in the first place? For them to rub and massage our egos? If we married them because we loved them, and since love is an action, doesn’t it make sense that we submit and obey them? Which according to the definitions above, we would be complying with their wishes or accepting or yielding to their will? Isn’t that what love is?
Someone else we may be asked to submit to or obey is a boss. The boss has faith in our abilities and is paying us to do a job. Doesn’t it make sense that we comply, accept and yield to his expectations of us. He is doing us a great service by putting stock into us.
I totally understand that these three ideas and words have been abused over and over. But throw them out the window? These three words hold a lot of value to me.
The opposite of humility is pride.
1 a feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired.
Wow. Really? How satisfying is it to “feel a deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements”? We sure spend a lot of time doing it, dont we? Does it feed my soul? Yeah? For how long? Until I get hungry again for that next thrill of self achievement. Which might be tomorrow. I’m getting sick, quite frankly, of massaging my ego. I’m finding it a little boring. It’s not measuring up to the sustaining nourishment I get when submitting or obeying the will of someone who means something to me.
We have been raised to “be all that you can be”, “you are the best” , you, you, you, you,………….I did it myself while raising kids. Sure, positive feed back is important but if while I was doing that I spent equal time encouraging love, kindness, obeying, and submitting to others around my children, I would have been a better parent. We have spent so much time pumping up egos, that we have become an extreme egocentric culture. Can we please, now, get over ourselves?
We really have to get real and honest about who we are to be humble, submitting and obeying. Cause for me, I want to admit out loud for the first time, I am not all that and more. I am a mere breath.
I want to simmer down on myself because I want to turn up the heat on you. The people I greatly admire are people who turn down the volume on themselves, less visible and less important so the people around them can shine.
I want to follow Jesus’ model for living. Not pumping myself up. Give others encouragement, love, and kindness. And submitting and obeying an authority and those I love and care about. EXACTLY THE WAY HE DID IT. I want to be.
This weekend, I am trying a new recipe that I am excited about. Sausage Ragout. I will post recipe if it is a winner. By all accounts it should be.
Have a great weekend.