Blogging (and Living) with Humility

You can’t be a blogger without desiring that people will read and approve of your posts. I live for likes, comments, new followers and re-blogs. Don’t we all? Blogging can be a great way to build your self-esteem and ego.

And yet Jesus has another perspective. He says, ” whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. (Mark 10: 43-44)  For the least among all of you is the greatest. (Luke 9:48)”

And the Apostle Paul adds these words. ” Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. (Philippians 2:4)”

When I write to draw attention to myself, I am tempted to go on an ego trip and to draw my self-worth from the “brilliance” of my insights and the approbation of my readers. By the same token if people disagree with me or, worse yet, just ignore me, I am prone to sink into depression.

If my writing is an ego trip then I am worshiping at the altar of a false god, and will soon be disappointed.

The cure for this malady is humility. Peter says, “All of you must clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for, ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time. (I Peter 5:5-6)”

It’s a new year and this year I want to live humble. I recently found this “Litany of Humility” and I plan on praying it regularly during the coming year. I invite you to join me.

A Litany of Humility

Jesus! meek and humble of heart, 
Hear my prayer.

From the desire of being esteemed, 
From the desire of being loved,
From the desire of being extolled, 
From the desire of being honored, 
Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being praised, 
From the desire of being preferred to others,
From the desire of being consulted, 
From the desire of being approved, 
Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being humiliated, 
From the fear of being despised, 
From the fear of suffering rebukes, 
From the fear of being calumniated,
Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being forgotten,
From the fear of being ridiculed, 
From the fear of being wronged, 
From the fear of being suspected,
Deliver me, Jesus.

That others may be loved more than I, 
That others may be esteemed more than I, 
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That, in the opinion of the world, others may increase and I may decrease,  
That others may be chosen and I set aside, 
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be praised and I unnoticed, 
That others may be preferred to me in everything, 
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may become holier than I,
provided that I may become as holy as I should, 
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it. 

Jesus! meek and humble of heart, 
Hear my prayer and make me like you.
Give me the singleness of heart that seeks to please
        only God the Father,
        the ultimate source and fulfillment of my whole being.  Amen

Attributed to Rafael Cardinal Merry Del Val,Charles Belmonten, Handbook of Prayers, Studium Theologiae Foundation, Manila, 1986. [Source, http://markgalli.com/?page_id=426]

5 thoughts on “Blogging (and Living) with Humility

  1. Audrey Assad has a beautiful song based on this liturgy entitled “I Shall Not Want”. I try to make sure I listen to it several times a week. When we of today replaced the ideas of humanism for the ideals of The Christ we really began to lose our way. Thanks for posting. Prayers for the journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks, Mike, for your honesty in this piece. And thanks for this prayer for humility, most of which I will be praying too. However, as a missionary kid, who spent too many pre-teen years in a boarding school because her parents seemed to love others more than they loved their children, I was jolted by the phrase: “That others may be loved more than I.” That, to me, is not really biblical, as it seems to me that Jesus taught us to love others as we love ourselves. Having had to learn self-esteem and self-love the hard way, I think this is a phrase I could not honestly pray. But…having said all that, thanks again for your honesty and for the overall impact of this prayer–for bloggers, preachers, and for that matter, for just about everyone! Blessings for the new year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Carol, thanks also for your honesty. I’m glad that you have found some healing and health from your childhood wounds.

      Sorry this has taken me so long to respond to you. I have been giving your words much thought and I want to share with you why even these jarring words are important to me.

      It seems to me that in every human heart (and especially in my own heart) there dwell two warring parts–the legitimate need to be loved and the false desire to be loved more than anyone else. I see this prayer as directed against my desire to be loved more than everyone else.

      I have a friend who humorously and wisely once said, “I have five only children.” By that she meant that each child thought they deserved their mother’s undivided and attention and love to the exclusion of all the others. They wanted to be #1 in her heart and when she gave her attention to their siblings, they thought that they were being cheated of their lawful due.

      I saw this in my own daughter once when she was in 2nd or 3rd grade. I took her to a children’s concert with the Cleveland Orchestra at Severance Hall and we had a wonderful time together. We spent two hours of daddy/daughter time together and paid probably $60 for the tickets. When we returned home, I gave her younger brother a $5.00 toy since he was too young to appreciate the concert and didn’t go with us. My daughter immediately complained that I was being “unfair,” because I didn’t get her something. Now I realize that at that her age a tangible toy probably meant more than an ephemeral experience. However, it reminded me just how careful we are to demand the attention we think we deserve

      But this same desire to be loved and honored more than others also lives in my own heart. I have often been jealous of other pastor’s when they experience some success in their ministry or receive some accolades. The desire to be loved more than others is a constant battle in my heart. The strong words “that others may be loved more than I” are a necessary rebuke to my envy and self-seeking at the expense of others.

      This prayer is only one side of the coin, but a necessary side. I also need to pray “that I may rest confident and sure in the love of God and of others.” As in all of life it’s a balancing act of having my needs met, while at the same time seeking to meet the needs of others.

      Thank you for your friendship and your response. You gave me the opportunity to think through why this prayer speaks so strongly to me.

      Blessings,
      Mike

      Like

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