I was pretty excited when I won my first ribbon at Toastmasters last night for an impromptu Table Topics speech.
The question was “Andy Warhol once said that ‘in the future, everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes. What will you be famous for?” Apparently, I came up with a reasonable two minute talk and won.
When I got home, I shared the good news with my husband and he smiled. Then he took this picture.
When my 24-year-old son came home from working out, I also told him about my win. I thought he might be interested.
He quickly responded with his laid back humor, “Well, now you can start going to Boastmasters and work on your humility.” Then he smiled and headed upstairs with his protein drink.
I have to admit that it was a quick and funny comeback ( I HOPE he was kidding!) but it got me thinking about humility – worthwhile exercise to do but 11:00 pm. is a bad time to do it.
I ended up lying in bed, eyes wide open and listening to the waves, while all sorts of random thoughts about humility danced in my head. In fact, the topic of humility kept me up until 2:00 a.m. I thought of many verses in the Bible that link our humility to the quality of our relationship with God and this morning, I learned that there are approximately 150 verses that address God’s outlook on the proud and the humble.
Andrew Murray once said, “Without humility, there can be no true abiding in God’s prsence or experience of His favour and the power of His spirit. Without it, there can be no abiding faith or love or joy or strength.”
That’s quite the claim but I believe it. This world says to exalt yourself but God says humble yourself and let Him lift you up. ( 1 Peter 5.6) God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. (James 4.6) As usual, God’s ways aren’t our ways.
I can think of four circumstances where humility is a wise choice.
Humility in conversation means that I must be willing to listen. Humility in reading God’s Word means I must be willing to learn by applying His Truth, rather then acting on my perceived truth. Humility in correction means I must be willing to apologize and ask for forgiveness. Humility in adversity means I must be willing to admit that I have done absolutely nothing to earn God’s kindness in the first place so getting stuck in the “Why me?” syndrome serves no purpose.
Real humility ( having a sober estimate of yourself, having the ability to see yourself through God’s eyes), as opposed to false humility (according to Wikipedia, ‘false humility’ consists of deprecating one’s own sanctity, gifts, talents, and accomplishments for the sake of receiving praise or adulation from others) is a quiet, indispensable virtue for intimacy with God.
This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word. Isaiah 66.2 NIV
…but if you ever want a short cut to humility, invite your 24-year-old year son to come live with you all summer!