Humility is needed. The polar opposite of the pride that is the ego’s primary characteristic. Scripture calls that pride vanity. We would do well to call it hubris.

Our ego has become so powerful that nothing short of hubris gives it proper description. We are more than proud of our accomplishments. In Shakespeare’s words we have let our “vaulting ambition…o’er-leap itself.” (Macbeth. Act. I. Scene VII)

Richard Rohr points out the three demons we must face in ourselves: success, rightness, power. All three can be distilled into hubris.

And what does God require of us? “To do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8b)

Humility is not what we have been taught it is. It is not servile. It is not self-demeaning. Genuine humility has achieved a power greater than any hubris. A power that knows itself to be perfectly what it is intended to be–and is satisfied. A power that has no need to boastfully strut about. A power that can bring about good—something hubris cannot.

Ann Glover O’Dell
29 July 2014

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