Monday, March 19, 2012


I was having this thought late last week, but with no time to write, I put it on the back burner until today. This was a blessed, relaxing, energizing weekend with the Flower and Patio show on Friday and the Ethos art show on Saturday. A girl certainly needed that.

Now back to this....

I have been thinking a lot about humbledness lately. And I'm aware that isn't "the" word for it; we use "humility." But I think humbledness has a better definitive quality to it and less of a downer stigma. Humility gets us too close to humiliated. Humbledness gets us closer to God.

It is impossible to describe yourself as humble. Just think about it - have you ever heard someone say, "Well, I'm just a humble guy." Either you don't mean humble in the honest sense of the word - because your even mentioning it negates its worth - or you are using it as an imprecise word meaning something closer to modest or simple.

That is perhaps my problem. It's this idea that we're using a verb as an adjective. It just grates against me.

You are not what you do. And among other reasons, that is why you can never describe yourself as humble.

Yet, God reminds me every day of the beauty of being humbled. Humbled - the verb. Humbled - doing. Humbled is something that can either happen to you or that you can do for yourself (not to yourself, but for yourself, for there is a benefit in humbledness).

When God humbles you, you learn a little more about your foolishness and a great deal about His wisdom. (If we really paid attention, we might learn a lot about our foolishness, but we get in this rut of thinking God is right this time, but that's not necessarily a reflection on our own wisdom. We just missed something; we'll get it better next time.)

When you humble yourself, you learn a lot about your weakness and tremendously more about His strength.

Humbledness is countercultural. It is a willingness to step down (or a knock down when you don't take it yourself) and say, "I'm NOT all that." If anything ever was all that, it's not me. And I just don't know. I don't know.

Humbledness is also faith-full. It is an acknowledgment of fallenness, of vulnerability, and of limitation in light of the eternal and infinite uprightness, power, strength, and capability of God. It is the surrender to say, "You are." Which is what He told us in the first place, isn't it? "I Am." Humbledness looks right back at Him, shakes it head, and says, "Yup. You Are."

Humbledness is not humiliation; it is grace. It is not defeat; it is mercy. It is not weakness or foolishness; it is wisdom and strength. It is not something less; it is unspeakably more. It is not modest or simple; it is sacrifice. It is not insignificance; it is love.

Humble is not something you are; it is something you do.

It is not an adjective; it is a verb. Live humbled.

Embrace humbledness.

(And make up words when the standard colloquialism just doesn't cut it.)

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