Humility isn’t a character trait we value much in ourselves but we look for it in others.
To follow requires humility. To follow assumes you don’t know where you are going and you’ve given up on the idea of doing it yourself. The absence of humility is what gets me lost for a whole half hour after my wife first said, “We should stop and ask directions.” The presence of humility is what left us with a beautifully renovated bathroom after my initial conviction of “I can do this myself and save some money” gave way to “Let’s call somebody to help us on this…”
The thing is, I’m the only one who believes the illusion of self-sufficiency I work so hard to maintain. Everybody else knows I need help even if they’re not nice enough to tell me to my face.
Being a follower takes us to a step with God that becomes a daily reality.
7: Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
The simple truth is that it’s easy to ask, it’s harder to do it humbly. “Humbly” requires me to be convinced that I really am as bad off as all that. My reptilian brain keeps telling me I’m not. “At least I’m better than…” or “Well, at least I’m not like….” are certain proofs that we haven’t hit the bottom and we don’t yet accept reality. I’ve got nothing on nobody.
I ask convinced of my humanness and my tendency to be oblivious to just what those shortcomings might actually be. What I am convinced of is my complete inability to do this myself.
I think John Newton nailed it – I think that’s why this song continues to resonates after all these years…truth is like that.
“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me….
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.
T’was Grace that taught…
my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear…
the hour I first believed.
The key isn’t to be obsessed with our shortcomings. I know people who are consumed with making a list and going introspective guerrilla to make sure every rock is turned over in pursuit of the elusive shortcoming that didn’t get uncovered yet. Our shortcomings, if we’re following, will become very clear. The key to the step isn’t obsession, it’s asking humbly when every, or whenever, a shortcoming is raised.
Which is easier for you – making the list or asking for help?