Everyone likes a nice plump piece of pie.
Except for those who don’t, and they are probably lying.
It always looks good on the platter- you know, behind the glass case or on the countertop in a diner. But sometimes it’s expensive, and it doesn’t really seem worth it to us.
It’s kind of like humility. It looks great, but it cost something that we aren’t always willing to pay.
To be honest, I have been craving a nice slice of humble pie lately. Not normal, I know. Who craves humility? I know, I know, it’s always the “other” person who needs a lesson in humility, right?
When we hear the word humility, or in a moment in which someone begins to speak on the subject, it is almost too natural for us to immediately think of the person in our lives who could use just a little bit more of it.
Am I right? Maybe that’s just me. I am guilty, guilty, guilty.
It’s interesting, really.
I mean, humility (by definition) is a modest or low view of one’s own importance or stature. Even still, when we think of humility, we often think with great pride that we ourselves have mastered the trait, and it is certainly those around us who need to learn.
Pretty much, our initial heart response to the mention of humility is the very opposite of what humility truly is.
Why do we do that?
Because quite honestly, humility is not easy. We want to be right, and we will make any excuse we can to be right. We will find any and every good reason to justify our behavior and place blame on another person, because it’s easier than being “wrong.” We can even make “humble” excuses for our actions that somehow still justify us as being “right.” We use our status and superiority to justify ourselves, truly believing that age or position gives us the rights to our behavior, and should lead others to regard us in a certain manner, despite that behavior.
To be quite frank, we can pretty much just be jerks about anything and everything, and make any good excuse for it while truly believing in our hearts that we were right, and the other person needs to humble themselves and realize they were wrong.
But what if humility was never about being right or wrong? What if humility is about love? What if humility, really, is about honor?
I think it actually is.
And if it really is, then what is it to love and honor another person?
That was a trick question. There is no one right answer.
Because here’s the thing- love is not a one size fits all thing. It’s not a standard dish that is simply served up on a platter and passed around with the expectation that each and every person would have the same experience. That would be so boring.
Think about it like this- what if you never had to think about what other people like or dislike when preparing a dinner for guests? What if you just made what you like, and hoped that your guests would like it? You might get lucky and have them love the meal, to which you would respond with a pat on your own back, believing you had really loved them well. But really, you got lucky, because you weren’t really “loving” at all. You were serving your own needs.
On the other hand, they could come and absolutely hate it. Even worse, they could have an allergy or intolerance, and not even be able to eat it in the first place. Still, you might justify the situation, stating that you had good intentions, and that you did your very best.
In a perfect world, we simply wouldn’t have to think about it. What we love, others would love, and we would never miss the mark. It would be perfect.
It would also be easy.
But it’s just not always easy to love others.
Sometimes loving another person requires work, and a lot of it.
I think the key element in loving others well is being able to disregard our own ideas and agendas, and seek the heart of another person. It’s way too easy for us to claim that we have tried to love someone well, when in reality, all we have done is attempted to love them the way we would receive love.
And sometimes, unfortunately, what love looks like to us is not what it looks like to the person next to us.
And here’s where the humility comes in.
Sometimes we need to place another’s needs and feelings above our own- to decisively lower ourselves in dignity and importance in order to honor another person.
Sometimes it is as simple as asking another person how they feel loved, or what they need, or how they feel honored, or in the dinner scenario, what they like and if there is anything they can’t eat.
But the catch is, sometimes there is no benefit or reward in it for us, other than the pure knowledge that we humbled ourselves and sought to love another person well.
When we let go of the need to do something that we perceive to be “love,” we open the door to find out what love truly is.
When we do that, we realize that the cost of laying our own needs down may actually be worth it.
And there may actually be a reward after all.. the pure and simple knowledge that our own ability to prefer another above ourselves led to another person feeling loved and valued.
Sometimes pies are a lot of work, and that’s why they aren’t cheap.
But the end result is totally worth the price.