There is much growing up that we need to do and much that God is up to in our journey of discovering, developing and delivering our calling. This week, as I was praying for myself and for a friend, God spoke two words: courage and humility. I’ve been wondering why those two words.
Courage and humility seems particularly critical in the days that we are living in and seem intrinsically linked together.
Courage is needed in this time of intimidation by the world and by religious systems. I feel it. The threat not to be wrong, fanatical, misinformed or an embarrassment. The threat of loosing something important like a position or a place or a relationship. We need courage to offer what we see, hear and know so that we can deliver counsel, creativity, correction or collaboration.
But courage without humility is often experienced as arrogance, dominance, insensitivity, harshness, and elitism. This is no different than the world.
Humility is needed in this time of “worldly spiritualism” where high decibels, dollars and dominance are the marks of effectiveness. Humility infuses kindness, caring, love, honesty (in other words, relationship) into our courageous offerings. Humility gives us perspective. Humility guards our heart.
Phillips Brooks said, “The true way to be humble is not to stoop until you are smaller than yourself, but to stand at your real height against some higher nature that will show you what the real smallness of your greatness is.”
It was reported that before retiring to bed, Theodore Roosevelt would often gaze at the sky, searching for a tiny patch of light near the constellation of Pegasus, and recount, “It is as large as our Milky Way. It is one of a hundred million galaxies. It consists of one hundred billion suns, each larger than our sun.” Then he would walk to his bedroom saying, “Now I think I am small enough.”
- Courage causes us to run toward a need. Humility stops us from running over people.
- Courage causes us to hold tightly to what is right and true. Humility allows us to hold loosely our current understanding.
- Courage causes us to speak truth unapologetically. Humility allows us to listen to others.
- Courage causes us to help another. Humility allow us not to demand something in return be-it some sort of personal benefit or their immediate change.
“Do not be afraid – I am with you! I am your God – let nothing terrify you! I will make you strong and help you; I will protect you and save you.” – Isa. 41:10 (GNT)
So, I pray for courage and humility for myself…and for you – my friend.