I was in Haiti, we were doing some concrete work on an orphanage. It was a smaller orphanage that was often skipped over by international non-profits.
I was just kind of getting in the way as two Haitian concrete experts spread what was needed on the ground to mix the concrete. They’d mix, then they’d throw it up on the wall. It was cool to watch how efficiently they did their craft. But I didn’t go there to watch, I went there to help.
After a couple of times watching them mix the concrete solution, I learned the pattern and could anticipate what was next. It got to the point where they needed some extra water, so I made some gestures with my hand and indicated to them that I would go get the water.
I ran over to the water tank and looked down into the hole. I had no idea how to get water out of this thing. I found a little bucket attached to a rope and tossed it down. Well, it just floated on top of the water. I did it again- same result.
I thought to myself, “Shelby, you are not an idiot. You are an American. You came to help them. You can figure this out. Think!” I looked around and thought of a plan. I grabbed a pretty good-sized dusty rock placed it in the bucket and lowered it down into the well.
As I lowered that rock inside the bucket back down into the water, one of the locals started yelling at me in Creole. He wasn’t proud of me. He was pissed.
I learned…I wasn’t helping. In fact, I was hurting. That rock that I put in the bucket fell into the well and ended up contaminating their only source of drinking water. ***Insert embarrassed emoji***
Today I read from proverbs an often repeated verse, “Before destruction a man’s heart is haughty, but humanity comes before honor.” Prov. 18:12
Man, my pride took a major shot right then. I messed up big time. I should have asked for help. I should have humbled myself and admitted I couldn’t do it.
Here’s the deal, you and I, we are never as good as we think we are.
The world is full of prideful people scratching and clawing to get a little more taste of the stuff that fuels pride. It’s addictive, it’s alluring, but it’s a lie.
You are not you because of you alone…Thank God people have been put in your life to make you who you are.
Now, some of you may say, “Oh well, yeah I don’t struggle with pride. I’m pretty humble.” If that’s you, careful. Is it possible to be prideful of your humility?
As we navigate the whirlwind of life today, let’s shoot for humility. Think about this: What are the most prideful areas of your life?
Is pride causing you to hold onto grudges, keep records of wrongs, manipulate people, or even fight for that thing you think you deserve? What would it look like to approach those things with a little more humility today? How would those relationships be different?
It’s not going to be easy but humility is a game-changer. It’s often the on-ramp to deeper/better relationships and it starts with you.
When it get’s hard, remember humility is the very thing that saved you.
“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Phil. 2:5–11
You are not you because of you alone.