14 August 2013

Humble thyself

Although I usually don't believe in these "n-step" programs (5 ways to improve your health, 10 steps to freedom, etc.), I found the excerpt below on humility to make me stop and think about my worst habits and how to not be so me-centric:

"The best recipe for humility I know of was put together by a dear friend whom I deeply respect. … It suggests that besides waiting for God to act in our lives, we need to commit ourselves to stop doing three things:
  1. We need to stop pretending to be what we know we are not. At some point in our growing-up years we make the powerful discovery that we can manipulate the truth about ourselves in order to look good. … If we feel inadequate, we can pretend to be self-sufficient. If we are sad, we can put on a happy face. If life is falling apart, we can look as if we have everything together. Giving up these attempts at pretending puts our feet firmly on the path toward a truer humility. 
  2. We need to stop presuming that we are more important than other people. One way in which we can do this is by disciplining ourselves to serve others quietly, without applause. … 
  3. We need to stop pushing our will onto others. In Step Three we looked at our deep-seated instinct to be controlling and to play the part of God ourselves. We often tend to do this in our close relationships. Think of how we try to straighten out others, fix them with our solutions, or get them to do what we want them to do. It can be quite humbling to realize that only God actually knows what is best for those around us. The best that we can do, most of the time, is just to be there for them, to listen to what they are going through, and perhaps to ask some questions that could help them know what to do next."
// Trevor Hudson, from One Day at a Time