As I reorder my life to be more in line with the Catholic church and what God asks of us to become more holy and more saintly, humility is a quality I come upon again and again. All through my life, it has been incredibly important to me for others to approve of what I have done – in work, in life, as a mom, as a wife. I thrive on compliments and am dismayed when someone doesn’t like work that I’ve done.
I think this speaks to the true essence of humility. Because I am concerned what others think, that is demonstrating too much pride. If I were humble, I would not care what others think. I would be doing the work for the work’s sake, to please God in that moment.
In the “Rule of St. Benedict,” the saint who developed a guide for the operation of monastaries, Benedict says we must remember that everything good we do comes from God, not us; that’s a lesson in humility. And one that I take to heart and remember in moments of pride. In fact, he lists 7 steps to humility that may not apply completely in today’s world, but which the essence of which certainly does. It’s a great, simple read and a wonderful guide to life.
I’ve also been reading some of the writings of Mother Teresa and I felt like she really explained humility well in the book “No Greater Love” (put that on your book list to read!). She says “Do not pursue spectacular deeds. We must deliberately renounce all desires to see the fruit of our labor, doing all we can as best we can, leaving the rest in the hands of God.” Also, “Never bother about people’s opinions. Be humble and you will never be disturbed. The Lord has willed me here where I am. He will offer a solution.” Beautiful…
And more recently I came across a Biblical passage noting, “God is the only judge.” Also, a great nugget to keep in mind when worry or sadness affects you based on someone else’s opinion.
Are others out there struggling with pride? Join me on this journey to become more humble and fully embrace humility. Let’s find joy in our daily work – from sweeping and laundry, to the office and our family – and do it not so someone will comment on a job well done, but because it will please God and is good for our family, ourselves and the world.