the baby and the bathwater


Wisdom 5: Humility
March 6, 2009, 2:31 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

With humility comes wisdom: Proverbs 11: 2

Humility. It’s one of those words that is often used in Christian circles. It’s part of the language of the church. But like many such words, this one is very often spoken, but possibly only very occasionally worked out in practice: we like the notion, but don’t like it’s implication.

But maybe we don’t like the implication because all to often we seen humility as weakness. Because when we are humble we have to admit that we don’t have all the answers, and we see that a challenge to our intellect. When we are humble we have to admit that someone else may have a better idea than us, which we see as a challenge our creativity. When we are humble we have to accept that someone else may do some job more efficiently than us, which we see as a challenge to our skill. When we are humble we have to accept that some people may hear the voice of the Lord more clearly than us, and we see that as a challenge to our faith.

And we too often see such things as weakness.

However, whereas all these things are right, they are not a consequence of weakness, but a consequence of strength.

You see, it actually displays strength to partner with people who are cleverer than us. It displays strength to partner with people who are more creative than us. It displays strength to partner with people who are more skilled than us. It displays strength to partner with people who have a greater spirituality than us.

Humility is a display of strength. It means that we understand what it means to be church, to be part of the body, to be engaged in the Kingdom.

I am currently engaged in a couple of projects which are causing me to be incredibly stretched. Both are creative projects, both are on worship, and in both of them I am working in partnership with great people. But because they are partnerships, I have to purposefully create space in the creative process that would normally be filled by my own views, ideas, my own ego or pride.  And it’s painful. But my hope is that the final projects will be stronger because of it.

You see the easy way forward is to always think that we are right, and allow our pride and ego to come to the fore. But in my mind, this is the way of the weak. The way of the strong is the way of humility, where pride and ego yield.

It’s the way of the wise.

Strange isn’t it? Because normally we associate wisdom with what we have in us, rather than what we are able to find in others.

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