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The Practicalness of Humility

I used to have a sort of phobia of being wrong...of anyone (including myself) seeing my faults.  Even when I was wrong I would defend the behavior or myself and everyone if I were completely right.  I was in complete and utter denial.

Looking back, I did some really stupid things based on my pride and desire to be right and feel superior.

Hiding was the name of my game. My faults were the herd of stampeding elephants in the room.

I can't say exactly WHEN God began working on this character flaw. I think it may have started when I realized, in my marriage, that if things were going to change, if we were going to get off the merri-go-round of unhappiness and unhealthy behavior and actually have a good marriage--or at least a bearable one-- someone was going to have to break the cycle...and it might as well be me.

I realized and slowly came to believe more and more that being the first to admit fault...and generally having an "I could be totally wrong" attitude... had zero negative repercussions and a million positive ones.

Here are a few...

1.) If I maintain a posture of humility, actually being wrong is not as big of a deal.  Falling from a height of 12 inches is way less painful than falling from 12 feet. And way less damage is done.

2.)  Pride basically holds me hostage to ignorance and stunted growth. If I already assume I know the answer and am right, it's virtually impossible to learn. And if I can't learn, I can't grow.

If a child insisted that baby jibberish was correct and refused to learn to speak and communicate properly...can you imagine all they would miss out on?  They could only communicate with the few people who take the time to learn their baby jibberish. They could never read the Bible or go to school or tell a joke or get a job. It would be utterly ridiculous. Baby jibberish is beautiful...from a baby. From a 30 year old? Not so much if that 30 year old is capable of learning to communicate properly.

3.) Even if I'm sure I'm right, it's still wise to operate from the standpoint that *I* could be the fool who thinks they're right...because I could be. THEN if it becomes clear that I'm right, it's easier for the other person to admit it. But if it becomes clear that I'm wrong, it will be easier to learn the lesson and move on with a smile.

4.) It's WAY more fun to be completely open to being wrong and to learning than having the anxiety of feeling the need to prove I'm right all the time. To walk into a situation willing to put myself "out there" to be corrected and taught is so freeing because no matter what, I come out better off.

5.) It also makes me much more approachable. It's like the idea that people are more comfortable in a home that isn't spotless because they aren't afraid they're going to mess it up. It's easier to approach someone that you know isn't judging you and won't talk down to you for having a different opinion or for not knowing something.

6.) Humility and approachableness is an act of service to others. Being willing to be taught and being open to being wrong allows others to see and learn with you even if they are afraid to put themselves "out there". And being approachable is important because we need each other...because iron sharpens doesn't sharpen itself...we need another piece of iron for that. We need community.

None of this means that I take every piece of advice or always do what other people think I should. We're about pleasing God, not men. I pray constantly for wisdom and discernment and God is faithful. Does that mean I ALWAYS make good and right decisions or always heed this advice? Absolutely not. I fall back into this behavior sometimes. It does mean that it's easier to get back up when I fall because I know that falling is always a it's easier to recognize and admit...and rely on God's grace instead of my own ability to make right decisions all day every day.

God is good.


  1. It is quite liberating to admit mistakes. It can be humerous, too!


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