Pride goes before destruction,
a haughty spirit before a fall.
Better to be lowly in spirit along with the oppressed
than to share plunder with the proud.
- Proverbs 16:18-19
“Probably the safe rule will be ‘When in doubt what to do or say, do or say nothing’. I feel this very much with my stepsons. I so easily meddle and gas: when all the time what will truly influence them, for good or ill, is not anything I do or say but what I am. And this unfortunately one can’t know and can’t much alter, though God can. Two rules of Wm. Law must be always before our minds.
“1. ‘There can be no more surer proof of a confirmed pride than a belief that one is sufficiently humble.’
“2. ‘I earnestly beseech all who conceive they have suffered an affront to believe that it is very much less than supposed.’”
- C. S. Lewis, Letters to an American Lady (Emphasis: the author’s)
I have written about humility before. Or was it humidity? Anyway, I felt perfectly qualified in speaking about humility, in that I know no one humbler than myself. That is until I read Wm. Law’s rules. Ouch!
I think the quotes come from William Law, the 18th Century Anglican priest. He is also quoted as saying “Humility is nothing else but a right judgment of ourselves.”
While I know that I have a long way to go to become humbler. (Also in the same book quoted above, Lewis writes “We should mind humiliation less if we were humbler.”) Each time I think that I am truly humbled, having been humbled in public, I realize that my humiliation reveals that I am still on that journey.
But let’s look at Law’s second rule in the quote. Ken Davis, in an interview with Mark Lowry (on Dinner Conversations, first season), said that we now live in a humorless society, because we listen to a joke not to laugh, but to find a reason in which to be offended. The quote from Wm. Law would state that the affront was less than supposed. In other Lewis quotes, he states that his biggest offenses toward others were not only unintentional but went by unnoticed until the injured party spoke of the affront. Of course, Ken Davis was talking about humor, but it is in everything that we do these days. Someone is trying to figure out how they can drum up support that they have been offended, oppressed, marginalized, etc. for the purpose of making money in a lawsuit. The case does not have to be strong. There is a certain embarrassment factor regarding litigation, so most people settle out of court.
Please, do not claim to be offended. No offense was intended, and my wife and I are flat broke.
I think that anyone who understands who they are and who God is will crash to their knees in His presence, maybe prostrate, face down in the presence of God. But until we meet Jesus in Glory, we are not yet fully sanctified. And I am thinking more and more that the first commandment will be the last to be released when we die. We will always maintain that we are rather good and not so bad. We, until the end, will have a tug of war between humility and a desire to maintain a more-than-healthy self-esteem.
Humbly submitted… (Rats! Did it again!)
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.