In her book, “Fountainhead,” Author Ayn Rand speaks of a ‘self-sufficient ego.’ A self-sufficient ego requires no validation of its moral value except by oneself. The only authority it needs is itself. Does this remind you of anyone?
Albert Einstein said, “Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile”. When I think about that quote, Mother Teresa comes to mind. From 1948 until her death in 1997, Mother Teresa devoted her life to serving the “poorest of the poor” in India. In 1979, Mother Teresa won the Nobel Prize for Peace. When she learned that the Nobel award panelists wanted to give a banquet in her honor, she refused to attend. Mother Teresa realized that the cost of the banquet was enough money to feed 400 people for a year in India. She requested that the money allocated for the banquet be given to her so she could accomplish just that. Not only did the they comply with her request, they made a significant additional contribution to her ministry.
An obstacle to humility is the illusion of self-sufficiency. We believe that our success is the direct result of our efforts alone, and God takes his rightful place on the back-burner. If self-sufficiency manifests into comparison, the endless spiral of unhealthy ego unfolds. We live in a society of more, more, more. How can we expect to remain humble in our life pursuits when we are trying to keep up with the Kardashians?
But I say to you that the best feeling in the world comes from doing something for someone who can never repay you. There is something about giving of ourselves without expecting anything in return that brings immeasurable joy. I would suggest that this is hard-wired into our DNA. Remember, we were created in God’s image. Jesus said (paraphrased), “that which you do for the least among you, you do for me.” My belief is that we are honoring God when we act unselfishly. By honoring Him, we are able to truly connect with Him at the deepest level.
So when we feel like we are falling into the trap of comparison, let’s take an inventory of what we already have and be grateful. Our Creator is well-known for always giving us what we need…which may not be what we want.
5 thoughts on “You won’t get no bellyache eatin’ humble pie (“Eat the Rich”-Aerosmith)”
I truly believe that a battlefield front line battle is being drawn culturally along this topic … humility vs. pride; serving others vs. serving ourselves; fearless love vs. fear driven hostility. Reading this blog comes right on the heals of a man providing me with an amazing, extravagant meal this evening with no apparent expectation of it being returned to him in kind.
Lord, please don’t let go of my hand as I walk with you yearning to become a more authentically humble man, bond servant to you, and servant to others around me.
I really feel humility is the greatest of human virtues and the most overlooked and least practiced. It also produces the greatest rewards. Thank you John Harrell for attracting to this important subject.
John I am blessed to have crossed paths with you , I was feeling a little lost this morning, even feeling the pain of people whom are suffering brings tears to my eyes this overwhelming emotion started about 2 months ago….I am so very fortunate to have all that I need and ever want, so I’m reflected outside on patio..early one morning just tears rolling down my face as I am allowing myself to just be..and listen, so that’s what I did , didn’t take long I felt i.e. Heard God say to me I have carried you walked with , stayed never left you , we have a pretty tight Father daughter relationship… without skipping a beat without a doubt he said your a soldier that’s how I made you so you are perfect in my image now it’s time to show me what your really made of…..I’m thinking I am on it …what exactly??? Lol…I just knew as he is always first in my life and has never let me down…I knew what I
You are the berries!!!