I’ve noticed a trend in my life, like the past 34 years or so, that I keep having to learn the lesson of humility. So, I go where I go when I need to understand big words and concepts. The Bible and Merriam Webster. To be honest, the fact I started cringing at what the word really means gave me a huge breakthrough… I’m still eating humble pie so to speak.
After God used the book of Daniel to make his point to me today I sort of started feeling a little bit like King Nebuchadnezzar. Chapter 4, beginning in verse 28 is where my Bible sort of fell open today. Don’t you love it when He just turns the page for you? I can honestly say though, that before this happened, I began my day praying he’d give me an answer to what He was trying to teach me. I read beginning in verse 28 and realized the King basically was turned into an animal-like creature, eating grass while his hair turned into feathers an his fingernails became birds’ claws (v. 32). I turned the page and their it was written in my own handwriting, “Either humble ourselves or He can humble us.” Looks like the King received the latter.
Ouch. My toes are killing me! Here’s what the dictionary says: Main Entry: huÂ·milÂ·iÂ·ty:
the quality or state of being humble. Great, that told me nothing. So I went to the word humble:
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin humilis low, humble, from humus earth; akin to Greek chthOn earth, chamai on the ground; 1 : not proud or haughty : not arrogant or assertive; 2 : reflecting, expressing, or offered in a spirit of deference or submission ; 3 a : ranking low in a hierarchy or scale : INSIGNIFICANT, UNPRETENTIOUS b : not costly or luxurious
Everything about that definition is the opposite of us humans. We aren’t born submissive, we don’t actively pursue being the low man on the totem pole and for Heaven’s sake we are all about costly and luxurious. At least most of us (ME included)! God has placed before me numerous lessons in humility. A baby sister (not just one but two!), lots of tryouts and auditions, job interviews, personality tests, four-legged animals, credit scores, doctors, friends, my own children… the list goes on and on. Just when I think, yes Lord I am humbling myself to be what I need to be, another lesson comes my way.
Out of my Bible it states the New Testament meaning is primarily a personal quality of dependence of God and respect for other people. It is a God-given virtue of holy living; humility comes not from self but from God. The result should be praise of God, not praise of (wo)man. I’m headed to the doctor for my son’s checkup right now, I think I’ll have him check out my toes too. Maybe just one more serving of humble pie and these toes won’t get stepped on so often.