Sunday, June 07, 2009

Saying of the Desert Christians: Humility 2


An old man said, "Every time a thought of superiority or vanity moves you, examine your conscience to see if you have kept all the commandments, whether you love your enemies, whether you consider yourself to be an unprofitable servant and the greatest sinner of all. Even so, do not pretend to great ideas as though you were perfectly right, for that thought destroys everything."

Nothing like self-examination to keep us honest. Joy Davidman wrote a little book on the 10 Commandments called Smoke on the Mountain: An Interpretation of the Ten Commandments which challenged me to go deeper into each of the 10 Commandments. I frequently remind myself that Jesus said that when we call someone a fool, we have murdered that person in our hearts. I usually think this when someone has cut me off in traffic in an unsafe manner or run through a stop sigh as I approached the intersection. I must murder someone in my heart every day. That alone should put into perspective anything I might be tempted to boast about.

C S Lewis wrote in one of his books and I apologize because I don't remember which one, that true humility is just accepting who one is, gifts and follibles. We ought not to pretend to be worse or claim to be better than we are. I don't know about you, but I find Lewis' words a challenge to live up to. Is it so for you?


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