I’m just going to cut right to the chase. I’m not going to waste words trying to build up to a huge climax. Let’s get right to it. I recently ate humble pie, and it’s awful! Believe me, you don’t want the “recipe” for this one. Take me at my word…do everything you can to avoid ever having to chew one morsel of the thing. It’s not worth the “extra calories”.
A disclaimer for my English as a Second Language readers: “humble pie” is an expression in the English language meaning “to face humiliation and subsequently apologize for a serious mistake”. No – it’s not an actual dessert.
I digress. In all seriousness, I can say that I’ve always felt I relate well to all kinds of people. What’s pretty comical about that statement is that I’m an introvert. People that have met me “in real life” are typically shocked by that admittance. Allow me to explain… I’m not shy. I’m not afraid of people. Yes…I am a public speaker and don’t mind sharing before a crowd. But…here’s where the introverted part of me really shows up…I get renewed and reenergized by alone time. While I truly love people, my energy is sapped when I have to be around people for too long and don’t get quality quiet time alone.
I digress again. Back to the relating to people statement. In my childhood, I had friends in “all crowds”. I was not a clique person. While I hung out mostly with people I had the most classes with or did extracurricular activities with (at least by the time I was in high school), I truly had friends from all walks of life. That was something that actually made me happy. I have always loved humanity and can typically find something good in all people. It also didn’t hurt that I came from a background of dysfunction and abuse and learned early on to treat people with respect and love, because you never know what they might be secretly dealing with.
As I grew older and entered the world of adulthood, I felt I maintained that sense of character…always trying to cheer for the underdog, to be compassionate towards those not deserving of compassion, and to not pass judgment on anyone. I felt I carried out that role well. At least, that’s what I thought.
It wasn’t until I experienced my first (and hopefully only) piece of humble pie did the Lord truly reveal the ugliness of my heart. It’s easy to say I’m one way, but what do I secretly think about that person? You know the type? Perhaps it’s…
*the person waiting on the street corner with a cardboard sign
*the single mom or dad in line at the grocery store paying for groceries with food stamps only to follow the food stamp purchase with a cash purchase for alcohol and cigarettes
*the child in your son or daughter’s classroom who continually brings your child to tears with crass comments
*the angry senior citizen working in the fast food drive-thru well past the “normal” retirement age
*the group of moms who get together for weekly playdates with their toddlers to gossip about why you can’t join them again
*the family who always shows up late for every event with another lame excuse for their tardiness
Maybe you’ve never secretly judged anyone in the above examples, but perhaps you can think of another example that better fits what I’m trying to get across. We all do it. Admit it. Maybe not routinely, but we all judge people who aren’t like us. We make pre-conceived opinions about why a person does what they do, why they behave the way they do, what they could have done differently to avoid a situation they now find themselves in. We also make “I’ll never…” statements. You know the ones. “I may do ______ (you fill in the blank), but I’ll never do ________ (again, fill in the blank).” I’ve done it too. And recently, I found myself face-to-face with a situation I just knew I’d never personally experience. That’s when I ate the humble pie.
God graciously and mercifully reminded me that this sanctification process is tough work. He can’t fully use me – at least not in the way He intends to – until I come to the end of myself. I ate the humble pie. I came face-to-face with my ugliness. I had to repent of my sinful nature…of the pride still living inside me, and it was then God spoke to my heart,
And now, my daughter, we can really get to work. My plans for you have only just begun.
I caution you, with love…to never say never. Just when you think you’ll never find yourself in a specific situation is the exact time God might choose to show you otherwise. Allow me to spare you the heartache of eating that humble pie. But, if you have already eaten it, just know there is still hope. God hasn’t given up on you, so you shouldn’t give up on yourself. Repent of your sin, graciously accept whatever “punishment” might come as a penalty for your sin, dust yourself off, and walk forward in victory, because the battle has already been won!