Thursday, September 21, 2017

An Appropriate Portion of Humble Pie

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And this is God’s plan: Both Gentiles and Jews who believe in the Good News share equally in the riches inherited by God’s children. Both are part of the same body, and both enjoy the promise of blessings because they belong to Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 3:6 (NLT)

I was confident.

I thought I knew enough Bible to test out of the Old and New Testament overview classes. I’ve led a study that covers 85% of the Bible eight times in addition to several other studies. “I’ll study a little” I thought, “and save a few bucks by skipping two classes.” My well intentioned friends affirmed my confidence saying, “You’ll sail through the test.”

But I failed with flying colors. I know something, but not nearly enough. I swallowed some much needed humble pie.

I’ve had other prideful thoughts. Entering as an older student I thought, “What meaningful life experiences could these ‘kids’ possibly write about in their personal statements?” Again, God exposed my pride. Students come here from all over the world, Brazil, Africa, South Korea, Nebraska, Texas, Tennessee, California…. They have life experiences I can’t even imagine.

The word that’s blinking neon at me from today’s scripture is ‘equally’.

Paul was celebrating that through Jesus the Gentiles are equal heirs in a unified family. The Jews don’t hold any advantage; they are not superior. Jesus was humbling the Jews and I am duly humbled.

That’s not to say I bring nothing to the conversation, just that I am not better as I have secretly thought. God gathered these particular students to learn from and challenge one another.

It’s comforting to know I’m not alone. Even Henri Nouwen, famed theologian, wrote:

Have mercy on me, a sinner. I am impressed by my own spiritual insights. (tweet this)

Have you caught yourself having prideful thoughts?

#SeedsofScripture #HenriNouwen #pride


  1. Oh my, yes. I struggle with pride. I've been studying the Bible for 27 years and I used to think I knew it all, the more I study the more I realize I have so much more learning to do. Thank you for your honesty.

  2. I knew I didn't know it all, but I thought I knew enough to skip the survey class and jump right in to interpretation. I'm actually really glad I'm taking the class because it's fabulous!