Yesterday, I sat down to write and rather than writing about myself and keeping my statements confined to the areas of my life and the truth that has helped me in my recovery, I painted with broad strokes and pronounced my thoughts as what everyone needs.
One kind soul pointed out that what applied to me, did not accurately apply to him. He was right.
In fact, I cannot speak into the history of his life and the way he feels about it and how he has dealt with it.
I guess I stepped off my humble horse and onto my high one.
It stayed with me all the day through and the first thing that popped into my mind was to take a look at why all of a sudden I felt like I could speak for everyone. What I write here is more valuable as an image for people to gaze on and take from it what they will, not a platform to tell people what to do.
I am here to walk beside others, not to drag them along to where I am headed.
First of all, I am not a humble man. Humility isn’t something I wake up and wear through the day. I have to slap my old self around for a while each day to keep him from handing me some pride to strut around in.
Humility is a constant struggle. When I keep my thoughts and ideas directed at what I have to do, others do not feel they are missing something when it doesn’t necessarily apply to their situation.
I’m grateful that the person that asked me the question about what I said yesterday was kind enough to discuss it with me. But, I realize that if it was a person not quite so far along in recovery, they may have just been confused and ashamed which is not what I was going for.
Second, my arrogance blinds me to truth. When humility gets kicked to the curb, I become not only prideful but arrogant. I believe my opinion outweighs all others and I’ll make sure others realize they are wrong. I’ve done a lot to get that out of my life. The best way to starve out arrogance is simply to shut up and listen.
Still, sometimes it is good for someone to tell me to shut up. But, writing gets a lot of the words out of me in a more thoughtful and deliberate way that weakens my desire to rule the conversation.
Arrogance makes me ugly. It is worse than a big old wart on the end of my nose or three eyeballs. It is just ugly.
Last, I have a difficult time serving. When I serve others, pride is right around the corner demanding praise, recognition and rewards. But truly serving demands that I leave the act with less of what I have and simply more of what God gives.
I want to write as a service to others, not to be told I’m a great inspiration, a wonderful writer or an insightful and wise old geezer. Nope, I want to leave every article with a piece of me in it, walk away less of what I thought I was and more of what God wants me to be.
I truly desire to serve others with the words I write.
I have been intentional in keeping most all of the words I type turned toward me, like the Word of God as a sword cutting deep into me to reveal truth that transforms me. I am transparent and honest about what is going on and what has happened to make me who I was and who I am. I lay it before you to take what stirs something deep inside to make your life better and toss aside that which doesn’t apply or isn’t what you need.
I know that I am forever just one wrong move away from falling.
1 Corinthians 10:12 If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall.13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.
I’ll be rewriting yesterday’s blog one of these days. I need more time to think on it. But for now, I’ll take from it the subtle message that it had the subtle beginnings of arrogance and I am thankful to kick it away while it is just a pebble and I don’t have to chip away at a huge stone.