Friday, August 14, 2009

Humility vs. Humiliation

It is one thing to go through a crisis grandly, but another thing to go through every day glorifying God when there is no witness, no limelight, no one paying the remotest attention to us.
~Oswald Chambers

Wow- those are such powerful words. What stands out to me from the above quote -is HUMILITY, and I strive for that each day. Humility is often times confused with humiliation, but they are two very different entities. Webster's Dictionary defines humility as "the act of being humble." Humble is "marked by modesty or meekness, lowly or unpretentious." Humiliate is "to injure the dignity or pride of."

I have definitely been humiliated in my life, and I don't like it. Once when I was in junior high, my parents stopped by a convenient store before they were to drop me off at a friend's house to spend the night. They stayed in the car while I ran inside to buy some candy (probably Red Hots and bubblegum). Well, when I came out of the store, I was preoccupied with getting the sticky gum out of the wrapper and I proceeded to get into the car without looking up. When I did look up, I was in the wrong car, and a lady was looking at me as if I was crazy. THAT is humiliation! I got out of the stranger's car and got into my parent's car, which was right next to the other car. They were laughing. I have never lived that down.

Whereas humiliation is something no one likes or wants, humility is something to strive for. When I get down on my knees, I am being humble. When I keep my mouth shut, even if I think I am right, that is humility. Having peace inside~ knowing God is my guide~ and not getting irritated or vexed when someone is sore at me makes me humble. A good example for me is not retaliating. I must admit, I had a moment of weakness the other night and found myself cutting and pasting all the correspondence I had with that colleague who ousted me from our editing project without talking to me first. I was going to gather up the proof that I worked hard on this, and show the president of the guild how she treated me. I spent hours going through old e-mails and working on this. By golly, I wanted some justice. I deserved it. I found myself getting angrier as I hit the buttons with vim and vigor. The thoughts going through my head were...not good. Then, a thought from nowhere came to me. Is this necessary? Is this what God wants me to do? Let it go. Guess what? That is what I did. I let it go, and prayed for her instead. Pete pointed out to me (after I had told him what I'd been working on for so long) that I sure did waste a lot of time and energy on that. Isn't that the truth? I went to bed that night exhausted and asked God to handle that problem. I'm aiming for humility, but am still learning.


Jeni said...

mmmm Red Hots!!! I love your memory of being humiliated. I've done that too :). LOL.... congratulations on "doing the right thing" in the end there with your anger. You thought it through and gave it up. That's the bigger thing to do. I love you!

Jake Chambers said...

laurie.... let me add another definition for you...

character: doing the right thing when no one is looking

i wish i had the time during the day to hammer those keys on the keyboard.....but i do not...not right now. that will come soon enough.

just the other day i sat down to send a note to a friend...after i finished it...i no longer felt the need to hit 'send' i deleted it and felt better. my computer screen became my friend that listens....