If you have been a regular reader of “Oboedire,” you know that I have connected you with Christianity’s claim that humility is the means by which we “evaluate” our maturity in Christ—and that humility is itself defined according to the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).
I have usually spoken of this in terms of our reactions to the blessings we receive, lest we be overtaken by pride. And I continue to believe that is one crucial reaction that shapes our spiritual life.
But in reading a recent writing by Richard Rohr, he reminded me that Christianity expands the reaction factor to include the humiliations we suffer. It is not only how we deal with our blessings that matters, but also how we deal with our criticisms. Here is another place where humility must express itself.
This struck me as more than a piece of information I’d forgotten about; it also “hit home” because I realize that I often take the criticisms, slights, and other kinds of “hurts” I receive and “nurse” them by continuing to pay too much attention to them. I’ve even found myself speaking to others and saying, “Now, I’m over what happened, but…….”—and then I go on to rehearse the thing which hurt me in the first place. Apparently, I enjoy re-telling the tale, even when it’s over and done with.
Humility, however, releases the hurt, just as it does the blessing. There is a backside to pride as well as a face of it. The backside is how I behave when I have been hurt. Humility is the way God calls me to live when I am complimented or criticized—remembered or forgotten—praised or blamed.
Dr. Harper, you wrote that, “Humility releases the hurt.” Could you please further explain the relationship between humility and releasing the hurt? Thanks!
Great word… Dr. Harper… I needed to hear that.