Thursday, June 12, 2014

Meek and humble of heart

People keep using those words but I do not think they mean what they think they mean. When we say the word "meek" in the 21st century, we think of being a sissy beta male doormat. Humble is taken to mean shy, introverted, prone to running yourself down. Humility, in the traditional sense, means seeing yourself as you really are. For Christians, this means recognizing that we are but dust and ashes compared to Almighty God. Whatever good we do is only done with the help of his grace. Whatever talents we have are gifts from him. The only things that are unquestionably ours are our sins and flaws. Humility requires knowledge of self so that we do not train our eyes on things that are far above us against right reason. The virtue of magnanimity is setting our eyes on great things that are within right reason.

Knowledge of self means knowledge of our gifts and talents. Humility that paralyzes us into inaction is a false humility that is in reality a form of pride. If we never do anything then we will never have to confront failure. In the parable of the lazy servant, the servant who was given ten talents went out into the market place and used them to earn ten more talents. The master rewarded his good and faithful servant. Another servant was given one talent which he buried in the back yard. The master condemned his wicked and lazy servant. The moral of the story is that whatever gifts and talents we have, we are to use them in the service of God and neighbor.

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