By Tera Ertz
“… it [love] is not proud.” (1 Corinthians 13:4e)
Humility is often misunderstood in our society today, particularly in the realm of political discourse. We have been conditioned to believe that being humble requires us to acknowledge the equal validity of all positions, and to equate the right to speak our minds with the right to be believed correct. This moral equivalence that has so pervaded our society makes the task of Christian love without pride difficult at times. We get frustrated with the relentless push of lies, emotion and half-truth in the public square. We find ourselves clinging to our own position on issues, rather than honestly seeking the most righteous answers, just to save face.
Being not proud does not require us to hold the truths we know with less certainty, or to speak in lukewarm platitudes that ease the egos of others. It requires us instead to speak boldly, but always keep in mind where our knowledge, understanding and confidence come from. As humble, loving servants of God, we must first seek His wisdom, submit to His will for our lives, and examine our political perspectives with an eye toward conforming them to His plan for the world. Only after this humble submission to God can we then speak boldly in love to our fellow men and women. Only with this humble heart toward God, that is open to His correction, can we come to a place of confidence that allows us to acknowledge our own lack of understanding in some areas, and to recognize when we are wrong when others point the way.
As Americans we are gifted with the freedom to live our faith and speak our minds. As Christians, we are given the joyous task of spreading the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are blessed with insights into how to order our lives in ways that will bring prosperity to ourselves and our society. But, only if we are humble before God will we ever be able to demonstrate that order to our fellow men and women and fully realize the gifts God has given us.
Lord forgive us for the sin of pride. We often find ourselves wrapped up in our own opinions, learning, and achievements and we fail to acknowledge, even to ourselves, where those blessings come from. We begin to see our lives as a product solely of our own creation. We know this attitude separates us from You and causes us to lean on our own understanding, and eventually causes us to fall. Fill us with Your Spirit of humble love so we may demonstrate that all power comes from You. In Jesus Name, Amen.