Tuesday, September 15, 2009

60 Days of Humility

First off, the most important thing I want to make clear about this post is that it's not about me. In fact, it's the opposite: it's about God - more of Him.

I've been thinking about this for the past month or so, and especially interested after a particular section in Mere Christianity where C.S. Lewis describes what pride is (the greatest evil), why it's so terrible (you cannot be proud and know God) and how to deal with it (humility). I also love to reflect on Easter and Christmas, specifically, more than other holidays because of their significance to Christianity. So I thought this was a perfect time with December 25th coming up.

I don't like to think of myself as arrogant, and I truly don't think I am, but I have plenty of pride. And I hate it. It's the Debbie Downer that destroys forgiveness, an opportunity for service, and a possibility to know God deeper.

As a counselor, naturally, I want to address this problem. That's where I came up with this treatment plan of "60 Days of Humility." The goal is simple: less of me and more of Him. But it has some potential problems that I need to keep in mind during this journey:
  1. As I humble myself and surrender my pride, I need to be careful not to gloat in this. Doing so will glorify me and negate my intentions.
  2. Laying down my pride must be immediately followed with thanks and glory to God for His work in and through me.
  3. Each day and week I want to be looking out for ways in which pride manifests itself in my life (wanting to be recognized, selfishness, vanity, lack of prayer, etc.), identify and name them, and give them to God.
  4. Since wanting to do things my own way is a form of pride, I need to be particularly focused in prayer and asking for God's Spirit to search me, then lead me to the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:23-24). This must be God's work, not mine.
  5. I also need to be particularly focused in God's Word. If I am going to lay down my voice at His throne, I need to allow Him to speak into me. This will also help me meditate on Him throughout the day (Psalm 1:1-3, 48:8-10, 77:11-13, 119:14-16, 119:26-28, 119:47-49).
  6. Each week I want to reflect on the past several days to see if I'm staying the course. If not, I'll need to readjust. My hope is that by the end of 60 days, I will be ready in heart, soul, strength, and mind to fully receive Jesus Christ, my Savior, as I celebrate and remember His birth.
  7. The 60 Days will go from October 24th-December 24th, and culminate on Christmas Eve. Just as I work to keep an eternal perspective in life, these 60 days will be keeping me focused on Christmas and my Savior.
The end goal is the practice of laying down my arms before God so that He can be glorified in my life. Chris Tomlin says it perfectly in his song Uncreated One:


ellentopness said...

I am joining you. I struggle with pride and believe it is the basis for many of my "issues". My husband says if anyone treated me like I do when I talk about myself, he would hurt them (yes, he's a bit of a testosterone boy). But that does not mean that I am not prideful. I believe self absorption is based on pride, and maybe I struggle so much with how "awful" I am because of pride that says I should be perfect. So I am with you, I am developing a treatment plan, too, because yours is excellent, but I tend to need more concrete things, also. I am excited!!!!

Aaron said...

Cool. I'm interested to see what your treatment plan will look like - I'm sure I could use some of your ideas and suggestions.

I talked to my small group about this yesterday and one of the guys mentioned fasting. I'm contemplating fasting from breakfast and/or sweets during these 60 days and using that time for prayer instead. Like one of the guys said, I don't want to be one of those grumpy old guys who thinks he knows anything. That man most certainly could not know God.

ellentopness said...

Fasting is good, ok, it's actually awful when thinking about it, but good because it is clearly biblical and practically, it is a symbolic and literal way to show that God is your source, not food. I want to do those kind of things because I need constant reminders to humility and focusing on God.

Matt Guerino said...

Great idea. I'll be interested to see the specifics of your plan when you have them. They may change throughout the 60 days itself, which is great actually.

I think the idea of focusing on God & his word is the critical concept you listed. It is impossible to defeat negatives through willpower and other negatives ("I will NOT be prideful!"). Rather, I think we're designed such that we defeat negatives through positives. Being consumed with God automatically leads me to being less prideful. So 60 day sof humility = 60 days of meditating on God. God designed us to be be full, not empty. So when we are full of the wring things (like ourselves) the solution isn't to empty out as much as it is to replace - to re-fill with what's right. Hmmmm... you've sparked some interesting thoughts here. I need to pursue this more.

Aaron said...

You're right on, Matt, though better stated than I. I'm actually really hoping to change the specifics throughout the 60 days - if it stays the same, I can be sure that I'm not really offering 100% to God because He is not static!

The more I think about it, the more I also need to emphasize being filled with God. My biggest focus was to empty out myself, knowing I would then refill with God, but secretly I can see how that second part could become secondary or even not as important. That would equal pride ("Hey! Look at me! I'm being humble! Yay for me!"), the opposite of my goal.

Thanks for all the comments, everyone! You're really helping me keep Satan out of this and allowing God to be fully realized and glorified.

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