on showing humility

photo // kevin russ

E and I sat on the couch, each tuned in to the laptops resting on our thighs--he, doing homework for grad school; me, blogging and updating my shop. We hadn't spoken a word to each other in nearly an hour. But suddenly, E got up, put away his laptop and suggested we take a walk. 

In the hazy landscape of gray-orange clouds and heat lightning that illuminated the night sky, we held hands. We walked on, hair rustling in the wind, until our feet planted themselves at the edge of the concrete sidewalk. Elbows resting on the pillared wall against the bay, we watched and listened to the water moving and strikes of light flashing against the backdrop of musty-hued clouds. 

"I'm sorry," he said. 
"I'm sorry, too," I said.

Everything was forgotten. Forgiven.

Only a few hours ago we had fought. Only a few hours ago I heard the reminder in my head, telling me, Kristyn, you'd rather be kind than right, yet ignored it. Oh, humility can be so difficult sometimes--even with the ones we love. Maybe most especially with the ones we love. 

Why is that we long to be right? Where does that desire come from? Why would we rather justify our own viewpoints than build acceptance and understanding? I ask myself these things often, and yet still find myself struggling to hold my tongue, calm my temper, expel grace from my lips. 

What do we ultimately get though, when we fail to show humility? What does it feel like when we win an argument, when we 'prove' we are right? What do we gain, if anything? Pride is an awful, ugly thing. The only thing we gain from proving our rightness is proof of our selfishness. 

I can't explain why pride often wins out over love. I see it happen everywhere, from the lines of grocery stores to the seats of Congress. We're afraid. Of vulnerability, of backing down. We don't want others to feel satisfaction. We don't want to feel weak or insecure. Competition only fuels our hatred, disinterest and lack of understanding. 

Because really, when you think about it, the satisfaction of being right only causes divide, ruins relationships of every kind, and fails to advocate love. Is it worth it? Is feeling justified worth hurting others? I feel like my first and most important task is to show love. I look at Jesus and all I see is His endless compassion. His humility. His acceptance. And I so deeply wish people would look at me and see the same. 

I've got a lot of work to do. It's a constant battle, trying to swallow your pride. But just as the saying goes, I'd rather be kind than be right. 

What about you?