In which I am not humble and my faith is weak.

by Craig on December 26, 2011


If I were humble a little slander would not have touched me as it did.
If I were humble, the difficult consequences rippling from that slander would not have crushed me.

If I were you I’d want details…
I’m not sure I have them all…
and not sure if I should share what I have.

Suffice to say…
I am not humble.

Humility doesn’t resort to forgiveness much because it is very hard to offend.
A humble heart always finds its worth in its Savior God, never in itself.

So is true humility possible?
No, not in this lifetime.
But this life is not for perfection.
This life is for the quest of perfection…
and grace for the quest.

I’ve been studying this month, humility, and I expected it to be just that, a study. But life has become the study, and I have been humiliated, repeatedly, and the lessons of humility are falling like boulders from the sky.

Accoring to Bernard of Clairvaux there are 12 steps of pride, the first two I’ve already covered.

The first step was what Bernard called “curiosity”. It’s the “looking around” part of pride.


It says…
“Am I as good as…”
“Is what I have, compared to what ___ has enough…”

When my self-worth is based on the pile around me, and by what people think of me – then I’m standing squarely on that first step. Pride looks within and around and not up.

The second step is what Bernard calls “frivolity”. That’s treating the important things as less important…and the unimportant things as having greater value than they do.

My reputation has been attacked…
my good intentions have been interpreted as evil…
and the consequences have rippled to further humiliation…
and I have been lain low.

I am not humble.

Is what people think of me more important than what God thinks of me?
What’s the heart of the matter, my character, or my reputation?

If I say I believe that my worth is wrapped up in whose I am – not who I am…
and then allow what others think to establish my worth…
I am not humble and my faith is weak.

molehills and a mountain

If I say I believe that what matters are eternal things…
and the earthly and flawed rule my emotions…
then I am not humble and my faith is weak.

As I look I find that I have descended the first step of pride, and the second.

And the next step of Bernard of Clairvaux’s 12 is what he calls “foolish mirth”…

among other things it desires the easier path rather than the right path…

I desire the right path…but want it to be easy…

Uh oh…

Please come back…

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Martha Orlando December 26, 2011 at 1:53 pm

Craig, you are certainly forcing me to look at my own walk with the Lord, to scrutinize it more closely than ever. Bernard’s guide is like a 12-Step Spiritual Program. I want to be humble, to have a strong faith, to walk the right path . . . like you, I am learning . . .
Blessings! I will certainly come back!


Craig December 26, 2011 at 7:36 pm

Martha, we’re both looking at our own walk together. Humility – The way Jesus was humble – that much humility seems almost alien, strange to many – even us in Christian circles. But to be like him is to be truly humble. As powerful as he is – somehow – he is STILL truly humble. Amazing! Thank you for learning along with me. Blessings to you too.


Sylvia December 26, 2011 at 3:05 pm

A lot of good grist for the thought mill here, Craig! This post bears repeated reading and contemplating (for me, anyhow). The “exercises” you’ve been through, with boulders dropping from the sky, have certainly kept this series from being trite, and here have given me enough quotable quotes that I could stick them up all over the wall in front of my desk! Really sorry you had to experience the painful humiliation, and yet, we your readers are certainly benefitting from the depth all that is producing!


Craig December 26, 2011 at 7:39 pm

Sylvia, first of all – “grist” – I had to look that one up. I’d heard the expression before – just never knew what grist was – so thank you. Secondly – boy this would be so much easier as just an intellectual pursuit, a “study” of humility. The circumstances are just so tied to this lesson right now – strange how I asked for a humble Christmas – to be taught lessons of humility – look what happened – I’m reduced to a puddle. Thank you for your kind words Sylvia, and your support, and thank you for reading me, and God bless you.


Michelle December 26, 2011 at 11:40 pm

I had the privilege of praying for a friend, a new Christian, on Sunday morning. She asked me to pray for her, as she struggles with her ego.

Then, last night whilst catching up on my devotions (I have had a real ‘brain’ holiday for about a week) I read: “When we truly grasp the love the Father has for us and the price Jesus paid, together with the incredible inheritance awaiting us, we have no need to prove ourselves”.

I think, maybe our Lord is trying to impress something on me – yet again! :)


Craig December 27, 2011 at 11:09 am

what was it that Humphrey Bogart said in Casablanca – our problems don’t amount to a hill of beans? In the eyes of the universe nothing that happens on this entire planet matters one bit – it just matters to the creator of the universe. He likes us – he really does. God bless you Michelle.


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