"Humility, Humility, and always Humility. Satan fears and trembles before humble souls."
-St. Padre Pio
They say not to pray for something that you don't actually want. My prayer as of late is to grow in wisdom and humility. I feel like I've been more in the Word, books, articles, and my knowledge base is slowly expanding. But little did I realize what I would bring upon myself by praying for humility (which fyi, will probably be something I'll be praying for the rest of my life).
This weekend, anger abounded. Stemming from things that I've gotten use to ignoring, being brought up in a conversation with Ryan that turned into a full blown exchange of words. Him being the mostly rational one, and me processing emotions that I had yet to utter out loud [not a pretty site]. I am a pretty big self-loather, but nothing makes me more nauseous about myself than letting my emotions get to the point that I uncontrollably spew and manipulate. I'm way better than when we first got married, but I can still become passionate, un-selfaware, and downright stubborn. I took my frustrations out on a team mate and to me, nothing is uglier about myself. Thankfully, he's always had the grace to put up with me when I pull these little numbers ;)
I started a book on Friday called Terrorism, Jihad, and the Bible by John McArthur. In the first chapter, McArthur was basically dissecting what kind of attitudes of the heart can lead to such evil acts like the 9/11 attacks. Imagine what a refreshment it is to read the various scriptures about how every single one of us is capable of evil (how fast can I skim over this part? LOLZ) Take for instance, Romans 3:10-18:
"No one is righteous-not even one.
No one is truly wise; no one is seeking God.
All have turned away; all have become useless.
No one does good, not a single one.
Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave.
Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.
They rush to commit murder.
Destruction and misery always follow them.
They don't know where to find peace.
They have no fear of God at all."
Welp. I have immense self esteem now, how about you?
I think that's why we all have so many struggles. We let the seemingly small seeds of evil take root, watering them with our pride and stubborn nature. Deep down, I knew I was being utterly ridiculous with Ryan last night, but I couldn't help but clutch on to my anger and frustrations the whole time.
It takes a fair degree of humility to admit that you are wrong and run in the opposite direction. A sort of control most people aren't willing to relinquish.
The good news is, no one has to take the above scripture as a personal offense, we all struggle with our own dark natures. It is something that has caused constant discord within all of humanity, since the beginning of time.
God sent Jesus to die in our place for this very reason. It's almost a relief; at least to me. If we could all just admit that we are selfish, foolish, etc, etc we can recognize it, repent, and just move on. Because when we don't realize the whole salvation story, then that's when the evil can take its stronghold in our hearts.
I think a lot of modern "theology" just glazes over this topic and it's an utter shame. Modern Christians have the tendency to go too far down the "gentleness" route that they completely disregard hard truths and justice. We humanize evil in an attempt to make Christianity more "acceptable" and "kind". Why are we so eager to trade what makes Christianity Christianity for something that looks exactly like every other religion out there?
What I am saying might seem offensive to some, but once someone seeks total truth and applies it to life, all that's left is more freedom. Freedom from attitudes and habits that weigh us down, things that are consuming and destroying our lives.
I realized today that I stood at a crossroads: do I make last night's display a regular event? Do I let it become a barrier between my husband and me? That's the sort of crap that I don't have the time or energy to deal with right now. No doubt we will have more conversations centering around last night's topic of breakdown, but I can only pray that I have the humility to see the full picture, not just what's coming from my limited, selfish, vantage point.
Choose humility. Choose a fair balance between gentleness and justice (for yourself and others). It's the only place from which we can truly accept God's wisdom and blessings.