Humility

Last Thursday I was at a study group meeting for dentists.  Toward the latter part of the meeting, there was a speaker who specialises in social network marketing.  He gave all sorts of tips as to how you can try to get your website to appear higher up on a google search.  I offered our practice website as an example. One good and free way to do this is to get reviews.  He displayed the search results on the screen at the front and noticed that our website had one review. I was quite happy about this, especially when he clicked on the review so that we all could see what it was.  Here is what it says:

Don’g go here!‎

By Annabelle – 16 Mar 2010

A dentist here ruined a family member’s teeth for life. Didn’t listen properly to concerns. Very expensive and currently being sued by other patients in similar situations. Avoid!‎

I was absolutely mortified!  It felt as if a bucket of cold water had been thrown over me.  The speaker was very gracious and reassured us that if we had enough reviews we would sooner or later have an unfavourable one.  He explained what could be done about it.  I am still incredulous!

How do we respond in situations like these?  We feel humiliated, hurt, angry, resentful and my first response after the shock, is usually to want to make them pay for it!  It is very hard in these situations to act wisely!

Humility generally does not come easily!  It is a process, often a painful one.  But it is possible to take pride in our position, without forfeiting the virtue of humility.  Humility has been defined this way: Humility is not thinking less of oneself, but of oneself less! James put it this way:

James 1 9 The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. 10 But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower. 11 For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business. 12 Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. NIV

The word used for taking pride is used in different ways:  glory 23, boast 8, rejoice 4, make boast 2, joy 1 Total: 38 times in the new testament!

You see, there are people who take pride in their poverty (religion), others who take pride in their riches.  The issue is not poverty or riches, but of pride.

It is possible to rejoice in grace one receives in the midst of humble circumstances that lifts us above our conditions.

Likewise, we can rejoice in our humility in spite of being rich, when we realise how fleeting those riches are, and how poorly riches can establish our self worth.

Trials have a way of revealing our selfish pride, and when we repent on being confronted by it and ask God for the grace of humility, instead of resenting God for not keeping us from the trials, God promises us the crown of life.  Ironically, the qualification for this crown is humility!

1 Peter 5: 5 Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

Ultimately, it is our pride that stands between us and God. “What will my friends or family say?”  “I don’t want to give these things up,” or, “I want to do my own thing first.”  But those who come to God broken in heart and spirit, recognising that they need help, he gives grace to.  This is grace to save us from our failures and sin, grace to live lives that make a difference and reach into eternity. Hear what Jesus would say to us:

Matthew 11:29 NIV Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

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