Saturday, December 20, 2008

Compelled to be humble...

"And now, as I said unto you, that because ye were compelled to be humble ye were blessed, do ye not suppose that they are more blessed who truly humble themselves because of the word?" - Alma 32:14

Those of us who have been through addiction recovery know very well what being "compelled to be humble" feels like. When we relapse, humility almost always follows. We feel guilt, pain, and shame. Usually we have hurt someone, most likely our wife. Seeing her pain causes great humility. Generally at this point we commit to living the gospel, we fall to our knees and promise our Heavenly Father every sacrifice if he will just remove our addiction.

And we mean it. This humility is real and it is deep. For me at least, it is not a show to make it look like I am trying to be righteous. I am truly humbled and willing to be molded by my Savior.

But...I was compelled to be humble. As the scriptures tell us, this is not a bad thing. In fact it is a good thing. But there is something better. Something that in my opinion leads to more lasting change...

Humbling Myself.

When times are good do I get prideful? Do I start to believe it is my own actions which are leading to my recovery? Do I start to fade in my commitment? Do I fall back into my pattern of wanting to APPEAR righteous, or am I working all the time to show my commitment to the Lord? Are my prayers sincere and heartfelt, often kneeling and out loud?

My commitment is to be more humble all the time, not just when I am compelled. To look at myself and be honest about my humility. When it slips, I will take the actions I can to bring humility back into my life.

Humility is the way to lasting gospel change. Pride is the way to misery.

1 comment:

Tim Malone said...

We walk the line between humility and confidence every day of my life. We need confidence as it is a form of faith, but we need humility as it keeps that conduit to the grace of the Savior open in our lives.

I had the same experience as a missionary. The confidence comes in devoting oneself to the work of the Lord and seeing the blessings that occur as a natural result. The humility keeps the spirit strong and helps to give the glory to the Lord, whose work it is.

The Lord promises us confidence in section 121 as we let virtue garnish our thoughts. That confidence comes through in exercising the priesthood and in magnifying our callings. The humility again reminds us that we are only able to perform our duties by the grace of our Savor and the miracle of repentance.

Over time the line between humility and confidence blurs. We become confidently humble and humbly confident. Faith replaces doubt, humility replaces pride and we become instruments through which the Lord can work. He needs men of courage who are bold in standing up for virtue and holiness, and who understand he value of that holiness, having experienced the opposite.

God bless you in your journey. I enjoy reading your essays.