Eating Humble Pie
by Sue Tell
He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.
I am so thankful for Romans 8:1
There is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
You know, there are some stories that sometimes are just so embarrassing you don't even want to share them. If you do, you learn you not only minister to others, but you allow yourself to experience truth.
It was the mid-eighties. Our church asked me to write a Bible memory program for their elementary grades that built from the first to the sixth grade. Our sons were in elementary school at the time. After initially hesitating, I agreed and Well-Versed Kids was born. My good friends Barb, Kathy, and Millie all jumped in to help. Once again, thank you ladies.
Well-Versed Kids was a success. Not only was our church using the program (and still does), it was published by Navpress in 1988. It was also adopted by Christian schools and many home-schoolers as well. So, when I was invited to speak at a large Sunday school convention on Bible memory for children, I accepted. After all, I had a book published with my name on the cover on that very topic. Can you hear the pride? Ugh, like I said, some stories I don't even like to remember.
My biggest memory of that day is not how God used me to encourage scripture memory in children, but my arrogance. Oh, how I hate writing that. In my mind, it oozed out as I responded to questions. Years later as I reflect on that day, God encourages me with these truths.
Romans 8:1. God is not condemning me for my attitude that day. He has his arms wrapped around me and is whispering, Sue, I'm glad you see it. Let's move forward from here.
Matthew 18:4, NLT, "So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven." According to my ESV commentary on this passage, "The humility of a child consists of childlike trust, vulnerability, and the inability to advance his or her own cause apart from the help ... of a parent." Those were absent qualities that day. I'm learning from the negative.
I've begun a list of the qualities of humility.
- Humility leads me to ask questions.
- Humility accepts that I don't know all the answers.
- Humility is more concerned about learning answers than knowing answers.
- Humility is stewardship.
- Humility is more than transparency; it is vulnerability.
- Humility teaches me to wait.
- Humility is tied to trust.
- Humility is trusting God and others with me.
- Humility sees others as a reflection of God's glory.
- Humility creates space for God.
- Humility predisposes me to believe I always have something to learn.
- Humility leads me to believe that I might be wrong.
- Humility redeems my desires.
- Humility is owning my influence.
- Humility is not needing to be more than you are.
I want to keep learning.
Father, please keep growing me in my understanding of humility, and in living a humble lifestyle. Amen.
Sue Tell and her husband Bill have been married for almost 46 years and have served on the staff of The Navigators for 46 years as well. Although their official roles have changed over the years, the campus ministry has always been a part. Sue writes a weekly faith-based blog, Echoes of Grace, that you can find at suetell.com. (Echoes of grace is "on leave" for the months of July and August and will return September 6.) She also enjoys facilitating Sabbath-Living retreats to help women grow in their friendship with God. Bill and Sue have two married sons, five grands, and her favorite walking buddy, a Golden Retriever named Lexie.