Lord, You have taught us to love humility, but we have not learned.

We have learned only to love the outward surface of it – the humility that makes a person charming and attractive. We sometimes pause to think about these qualities, and we often pretend that we possess them, and that we have gained them by ‘practicing humility.’

If we were really humble, we would know to what an extend we are liars!

Teach me to bear a humility which shows me, without ceasing, that I am a liar and a fraud and that, even though this is so, I have an obligation to strive after truth, to be as true as I can, even though I will inevitably find all my truth half poisoned with deceit. 65, 66

It is so tempting for me “to love the outward surface” of life. It is easy to get trapped in appearances, to lose touch with the inner depths of life.

The horizontal material realm so preoccupies my life. I am easily caught up with making an impression and with the impact other people have on the surface of my life.

There is little truth in this external realm. Here I find myself participating in the lie that there is some ultimate satisfaction or true meaning to be found in this tangible realm of impressions and accomplishments.

Jesus is reported in John’s Gospel to have said,

you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free. (John 8:32)

This is not the “truth” of dogma and doctrine. There were no creedal formulations when Jesus spoke these words. The Greek word aletheia means literally, “not concealing.” Jesus speaks of truthfulness and authenticity. It is only in honesty in “not concealing” that I find true freedom.

To be humble is not to grovel and feel small. To be humble is to be honest.

In order to be honest, I must begin with myself. I must be willing to allow the searching light of God’s Spirit to examine my heart and show me that all too often “I am a liar and a fraud.” It is only in the seeing that I move towards the freedom that is God’s mercy at work in my heart.

Am I willing to see truly the reality of brokenness in my life?

What happens when I see the degree to which I am “poisoned with deceit”?