"Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom."
James - half brother of Jesus - said that.
I'm studying James right now with a small group of women. It's always a killer for me - James is, but God just keeps bringing me back to it. Apparently He has some things for me to learn - and it's taking me a while to get it down.
In our study this week, I read a quote that was a little (and by "a little", I mean "a lot") convicting. And not wanting you to feel left out, I'm gonna share it.
The Greek word, in the original language of the book of James, for humility means "the quality of not being overly impressed by a sense of one's self-importance".
Here's the quote:
"In my woundedness and in my flesh, I delude myself into thinking that harshness and severity are worth it if another person is fortunate enough to gain my superior perspective.
The gentleness that is linked to wisdom in this context means living out of the knowledge that I am not the priority here."
This is a particularly hard word for me. My personality is prone to telling you a couple of times, with kindness and gentleness, how things should be. And then if you're not smart enough to see it my way after that, I lose patience. I lose mercy. I lose humility.
And God gently, with mercy, keeps reminding me - it's not about me.
And even more than that - I am not always right. I always think I'm right. We all do. If we knew we were wrong, we'd change, right?
I'm learning - slowly, and sometimes with much faltering, that I need to be quiet more often. And when I do feel prompted to speak, to speak gently, with humility, with love. And if they don't change, if they won't see things my way, I can still speak gently, with humility, with love. Because it's not about me.
It's about God. Change in any of us is between Him and the individual in need of change.
So, I can let it go.
I'm not God - and aren't we all very, very, happy about that?