«Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison» (Matthew 5:25).
Theologian Richard Rohr said that years ago, he prayed to be humbled once a day. When his books and sermons made him famous, Richard realized that his pride was growing, fueled by the applause. Then he began to pray for one humiliation per day, like a bitter medicine against his pride. Richard prayed not only for this, but also for the ability to react correctly to this humiliation. He admitted that his initial reaction to receiving critical or hurtful emails was to defend his position; in any event, however, if he thought about it meekly, he saw that there was a little truth in most of the comments and learned from them.
Richard Rohr believed that accepting those daily humiliations was a way to befriend an adversary on the way to judgment; a way to apply Jesus’s teachings. In Falling Upward, he said, «If you do not feed on these humiliations regularly and do not be friends with the judges, with the jury, and with the officers of the court (i.e., with all who reveal to you and convince you about your hidden faults), . . . you will remain forever in the first half of life.» In other words, you will remain a prisoner of your pride until «you have paid the last penny» (Matthew 5:26).
If we pay attention, we will find daily opportunities to humble ourselves before God. If we overreact to a comment or become too easily offended, someone may have detonated the anti-personal pride mine in our hearts. In Testimonies for the Church, Ellen G. White reminded us that we must do our part to overcome pride: «It is your work, my brother, to humble yourself and not wait for God to humble you. God’s hand at times bears heavily upon men to humble them and bring them into a proper position before Him; but how much better it is to keep the heart daily humbled before God. p. 372. Let’s take a bitter dose of humility day by day and accept the uncomfortable opportunities we are presented in order to grow and humble ourselves.
Dear Lord, help me accept the opportunities You give me today to humble me. I want to understand the role that those who criticize me can have in my growth as a person. Give me Your strength to accept humiliation as an opportunity to look more like You.