On Humility

      God rushes to be in the presence of the poor of heart: those who are meek, lowly, and humble.
      What is so confusing is that shame, fear of speaking the truth, and self-hatred are not the same as humility and meekness.  Shame, fear and self-hatred are a perverse sort of pride: they are fixated on what others think of us, and are terrified of negative opinions or judgments.  Shame leads a person to assert, “I AM important; I AM something special.”  This attitude leads to a puffing up of one’s ego.  Then you have the pride that alienates the spirit of God.
     My greatest challenge in the past year has been to assert myself in some areas in which I was terrified of upsetting another person.  I had been acting as a doormat, a spineless creature.  I had to find my words: “No, I am unavailable for that,” or “No, that is not okay with me.”  Was lacking those words the same thing as being meek or lowly?  No!  It was being untruthful.  I was not clinging to the truth, the real truth that I was unavailable or not okay with that.  I was cowering in the face of reality.
    But to remedy this problem, the answer was not to beef up my “self-esteem” or inflate my ego so that I could be more assertive.
    The answer, for me, was to beg God for my voice as “prophet.”  In our faith, we are all priest, prophet and queen or king.  We are all three, as we share in Christ’s offices of priest, prophet and king.  I realized that I was not yet being a good Christian, in being a prophet.  I was not yet adhering to and speaking the truth.
    So my task was to be a humble, lowly person who emphatically spoke the truth, even when it was not what others wanted to hear.
    This has been the victory of this year for me, the navigating the tricky waters of pride and humility, in standing up for the truth and saying “No.”
     God’s way of being self-assertive is still humble, still meek, and thus still inviting of his Rich Presence.