Teach Us to Be Humble
David Nii, Council of Twelve Apostles
“But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other.” -Luke 18:13-14a
Many successful people proclaim that living their life to the fullest with “no regrets” is an important part of their life philosophy. Although I admire their zest and passion for active lives of accomplishment and self-determination, I wonder if concepts of self-reflection, forgiveness, and grace can be a part of this life perspective. My journey toward humble discipleship causes me to acknowledge a lot of regrettable actions and circumstances that I’ve initiated.
In times of honest self-reflection, I acknowledge moments of lies and hurtful words. I recognize that my actions and inactions have furthered pain and increased suffering of others. I admit to being an active participant in creating many of my life challenges and negative experiences. I reflect on my need to ask forgiveness; and although I affirm divine grace that frees me from needing to dwell in self-pity and self-deprecation, I also affirm my continued yearning to move beyond my limited actions of response to compassion, peace-making, and healing. In my best moments of human experience, I admit that I am not in full control of my life. Although I strive to be independent, I also am dependent on others and God to be fully alive.
For me, Christ measures a full life not by successes or accomplishments, but by openness to mercy, grace, confession and forgiveness, relationship. We experience fullness of health and humanity by admitting our need to receive and give the divine spark that dwells within us in our life highs and lows. We thrive in Christ when we are vulnerable, when we are humble.
Let gratitude show you the way (Doctrine and Covenants Section 165:2b).
Gratitude is an important spiritual practice that invites us to see all of life as a gift. We give thanks for our breath, the food we eat, people we love, and all that we have that truly matters. We remember that we are connected and sustained by a web of relationships with creation, God, and other people. Take time each day this month to practice giving thanks and to consider-for what am I most grateful?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.