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Humiliation

Guilty_FaceHe will transform the body of our humiliation that it may be conformed to the body of his glory, by the power that also enables him to make all things subject to himself. (Philippians 3:21)

I remember complaining to Murat Yagan that I was always carrying around all this guilt. He said to me, “you need to be more humble.”

Huh?

I was perplexed. How could I need to be more humble when I was always feeling so rotten about myself? Stewing on this for some time, he explained:

Humility is about knowing your dependence on God. Period. Humility is the lived realization that all that you have is pure gift. You can’t even pray for more of Grace, because He has given you everything he has. Pray for your ability to receive it. Humility is the ability to let go of shame, in accepting that I am broken, that I can’t fix myself, or anyone else—accepting I am beloved, and loved, even when I cannot seem to love myself.

He asked me, “do you feel that you have some kind of superior humanity to others? Do you feel you are privileged not to err? Now make amends where you need to, offer or ask forgiveness where you need to, let your guilt encourage your choices, then let it go.”

I have always loved the saying, I believe from the Fathers, “the way to humility is through humiliation.” The discovery of our less than holy motivations and desires become transformative teaching moments. How many of our choices and actions are motivated by an unchecked need for power, affection or security?

I hope I can bear the road to real humility to truly say “for thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever and ever, Amen.”

Gregor Sneddon

About Gregor Sneddon

Gregor Sneddon is a Presbyter in the Diocese of Ottawa and the Rector of St Matthew’s, Ottawa. He received an MA from the Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies and is the founding Coordinator for Contemplative Outreach of Eastern Ontario. Gregor is a council member of the Associated Parishes for Liturgy and Mission and serves on the International Anglican Liturgical Consultation. He is a husband, a dad, and enjoys being in the woods, a good dinner party and swinging the blues.
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