Thursday, August 26, 2010
Humility: Surrender or Transformation?
Humility is a virtue I have always valued as it was preached to me throughout my youth and into my adulthood. As I have grown up and rejected so many of my previous religious beliefs it is significant to find that I value humility as greatly as I ever have but what has changed is the type of humility I value.
The simplest way to describe the humility I sought in my youth is that I tried to place my own will beneath the will of God. I tried to be ready to submit to the Lord at all times and hopefully with an eager willingness. I desired to always say, “Not my will but yours be done.” I would call this a humility of surrender. But now I describe humility as being willing to place my own will beneath the evidence that has been laid before me. Now I desire to be ready to alter my own views at all times in conjuncture with well-reasoned facts. Let me now say, “Not my ideas but proof be found.” I call this a humility of transformation.
The Christian must always be ready to do as she is directed but never willing to change (forsake) her beliefs. She must hold strong to her faith no matter the evidence against it. I, on the other hand, am now free to do as I believe is best but must always be willing to change my position in the face of new evidence.
I can honestly say that the humility to transform my mind is the virtue I hope to maintain my entire life rather than the humility to surrender my mind and do as I am told. And in truth, despite my continual efforts to faithfully (mindlessly) submit, it is this humility of transformation that has led me to where I am today.