Humble Pie

You know, there are some stories that are just so embarrassing you don’t even want to share them. Yet if you do, you not only minister to others, you allow yourself to experience truth. So here goes.

It was the mid-eighties. Our church leaders asked me to write a children’s Bible memory program that built from the first to the sixth grade. Our sons were in elementary school at the time. After initially hesitating, I agreed, and Well-Versed Kids was born. My good friends Barb, Kathy, and Millie all jumped in to help. (Once again, thank you, ladies.)

Well-Versed Kids was a success. Not only was our church using the program, but it was published by Navpress in 1988 and adopted by Christian schools and many home-schoolers as well.

So when I was invited to speak at a large Sunday school convention on Bible memory for children, I accepted. After all, I had a published book with my name on the cover on that very topic. Can you hear the pride? Ugh, like I said, some stories I don’t even like to remember.

My biggest memory of that day is not of how God used me to encourage Scripture memory in children but of my arrogance. In my mind, it oozed out as I responded to questions. Oh, how I hate writing that!

As I reflect on that day years later, God encourages me with these truths:

  1. “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1, ESV). God is not condemning me for my attitude that day. His arms are wrapped around me and He is whispering, Sue, I’m glad you see it. Let’s move forward from here.
  2. Matthew 18:4, NLT: “So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.” According to my ESV commentary on this passage, “The humility of a child consists of childlike trust, vulnerability, and the inability to advance his or her own cause apart from the help . . . of a parent.” Those qualities were absent that day. I’m learning from the negative.

I’ve begun a list of the qualities of humility. I’d love to hear your thoughts as well. What might you add?

  • Humility leads me to ask questions.
  • Humility accepts that I don’t know all the answers.
  • Humility is more concerned about learning answers than knowing answers.
  • Humility is stewardship.
  • Humility is more than transparency; it is vulnerability.
  • Humility teaches me to wait.
  • Humility is tied to trust.
  • Humility is trusting God and others with me.
  • Humility sees others as a reflection of God’s glory.
  • Humility creates space for God.
  • Humility predisposes me to believe I always have something to learn.
  • Humility leads me to believe that I might be wrong.
  • Humility redeems my desires.
  • Humility is owning my influence.

I want to keep learning. In the words of the psalmist, “He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way” (Psalm 25:9).

So, tell me, what are you learning about humility?

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