Humility in Today’s Prideful World

Dear Reader:

Humility is defined as being modest and respectful. I certainly was taught this as a child and had it role-modeled for me by my mother, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. Our heritage of Scotch-Irish cotton farmers placed the highest esteem on humility- modesty and respectfulness. We were taught to work hard and keep a good reputation…my mother used to say (a lot) “Whatever you do….don’t lose your reputation because you can never get it back.” “You can make more money, built nicer homes….but it is all for naught if your reputation is gone.”

Don’t we wish that politicans, celebrities, and the media agreed with mother’s warning? It really “galls” me to see so much attention given to people who don’t deserve the adulation…people who flaunt their affairs and scandals like a source of pride. No humility is shown at all…for any wrongdoing. A strange world we live in sometimes…

When I went to look up the symbol for humility …here came my elusive “spiral” back again…it is called the “ram’s spiral” and is the symbol for humility because two rams will fight it out but in the end the defeated ram will humble itself before the victor.

Now I know the meaning of these spirals that I saw on the doors (as doorknobs) of so many homes and businesses in Provence…humility of the creation and humility before the Creator.

His [Christ’s) humanity is the first step down and the last step up on the beautiful spiral of Creation.

The old prophet, Michah, would wonder about all the headline news: the spot lights, the boisterous politicians, leaders, pastors, athletes, and anyone for that matter that has somehow convinced themselves they are “all that.” Michah’s words are in reference to the picture God has painted in regard to living.

“God has shown you, what is good and what He requires of you. To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Michah 6:8)

Pride says: “I have done this all myself, ” while humility says: “Every good gift I have comes from God.” Pride says: “I am king of the world.” While humility says, “You are God and you are my King.” “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” (I Peter 5:6-7)

True humility is not gained easily…it is gained intentionally. It is not natural for us human to be humble; on the contrary, we are usually trying to “achieve” and “stand out.”

Peter urges everyone to move toward living a life of humility and to do our part so God can do His part. Humility is gained as we serve others and as we are decreasing ourselves so God can increase.

In the following story a congregational member learns the lesson of humility and its far-reaching influence on others.

A few years ago, I was out with a team from our church. We were cleaning trash in an alleyway and painting over some graffiti. I had many things I needed to get done at home but there I was. I must confess I was grumbling a bit, too. “

“While I love to serve, I just did not feel up to doing trash cleanup. Someone else made the mess, someone else felt it best to deface property by painting some graffiti on a wall-I grumbled and carried on.”

The next week, someone I had never met, visited our church. They said, “I had never been to your church before but we saw you and others from your church cleaning up the alleyway just down the block and we figured your church would be one to become a part of.”

I never told them I was grumbling! But I did repent to God. He took my service and reminded me how it impacts others.

Hidden acts of service, anonymous gifts, helping others without credit, are ways to build intentional humility into our lives. Go for humility and serve others-in the end, it is how God designed life. “

Yesterday morning I happened to walk past my the television when a young surfer by the name of Garrett McNamara- was being interviewed…he had ridden a 90 foot wave breaking the world’s previous record of 85 feet. *See the awesome and scary video clip below.

Garrett McNamara Video : Surfer Breaks World …

But what really captured my attention was when he was asked what he was doing in Portugal that particular day and he said that he was a member of the “Surfer’s Healing” program-working with autistic children (remember Mollie’s program at Folly Beach that I helped with two summers ago?) and several professional surfers, beside himself, were trying out new jet skis and other equipment that might accomodate more autistic children for future programs.

Garrett went on to say that he was at the right place at the right time…but he never would have been there if he hadn’t been working to help improve children’s lives.

Humility…modesty and respect at its best.

I had to laugh yesterday…Gin-g emailed me to say that after she told her husband, Fred, about me mistaking the hunter for the veteran, he shook his head and said, “Honesty is the highest form of humility.” So, hey, I won the prize for humility Friday!!!!

So until tomorrow…let’s remember to give God His space to lead us down the path and not try to “bulldoze” our way through life as the top leader.

“575 Tales left to Tell”

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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