Humility, although it is difficult, is a great picture of God's grace in our lives. I'm not talking about living a life of humility and putting others first. I'm talking about being humbled ... being humiliated or shown that you have made a mistake. I think being humbled is even more difficult than being a humble person, and being humble is mighty difficult!
Today, two things happened that brought me to my humbled knees. The first one was tiny, nearly insignificant, and really about my ego being hurt, which is a form of humility (the being humbled kind). I was helping Diazaun with his math homework at after school, and we were working on subtracting 2-digit numbers. The problem was something like 40 minus 15, and instead of adding a 1 next to the zero to make it 10 minus 5 and then marking out the 4 and making it a 3 - 3 minus 1, I tried to make the zero into a 9 and go from there. The humbling part is that I not only did NOT catch this huge error, but I was determined that it was the correct way of doing the math problem. Diazaun gave a me weird look ... so I looked to another adult. Remember, this is math homework for a 9-year-old. Ha! She gently tried to explain to me why I was wrong. She explained it a few times, and I still wasn't fully understanding. Eventually, I did a couple of made-up problems on my own and realized I was just "spacing out." (What?) Haha! It was hilarious, really. Thankfully, Ms. Sandy was gracious about it. She didn't make fun of me and say "Wow, you can't do 4th grade math? What the dilio!?" She just patiently tried to show me what was going wrong in my train of thought. But evenso, I was a bit embarrassed to say the least. And let's not mention the incident 10 minutes later where I couldn't spell the word "shepherd" for the life of me! ... Oh wait! I did mention it! ;)
The other humbling experience was more a bit more serious. I actually started thinking about it yesterday, but I've been thinking about it further today and being more convicted as well. ... I have a friend who has been really patient with me. I've been incredibly wishy-washy with him, and he has been entirely patient and gracious. We've had lots of confusion in our friendship and lots of missed signals and lots of me being a real jerk if you get right down to it. Yesterday, I started thinking about how ridiculous I've been. I'll spare the details for the sake of doing something right by him (for once), but it's just been a really messed up situation. I've handled things badly, for the most part, and God started really convicting me of it all last night. Much of what was confusing and messed up we got all out on the table and talked about it, but lately, I have been harboring wrong thoughts towards him and not doing right by him in specific ways that he doesn't even know about. And today, I've been convicted for doing some of these things again. .......... All of this to say, God is breaking me down in this area. He is helping me realize that I am doing wrong by this friend even more than I thought and that I must repent ... and talk to this friend about it all. In other words, God is humbling me.
Again, humility is a very difficult thing for us depraved beings. It's never easy ... at least in my opinion. And being humbled is even worse. It is so important but always hard to face. But at the same time, it is a gift from God. A gift wrapped in His grace. He humbles us so that we can realize our need for Him. He loves us so much that He wants us to be at peace with others ... at peace with ourselves ... and at peace with Him. And that is why is humbles us in the ways that we need it. James 4:6 says, "He gives us a greater grace. Therefore it says, 'God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.'"
I don't think God just gives grace to the people who live humbly before Him and live humbly concerning others. I think He also gives us grace in our moments of humilation and in the moments in which we find out we have been wrong or have wronged someone. Remember, grace is giving what we don't deserve. In our moments of weakness, God gives us help from on high, which is His mighty grace in action. :) He gives us greater grace, even greater than our weakness. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for that!