The Wisdom of Humility

July 28, 2023 at 12:55 p.m.
Getty images.
Getty images.

By ERIK SCHENCK
Fiat Ventures

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

I love stories that deal with lessons of wisdom (or a lack thereof), Aesop’s Fables, nursery rhymes, mythological stories. Something about how seemingly insurmountable problems are solved with simple solutions always grabs my attention. Take the story of King Solomon in the first reading this week. When God appears to him in a dream and offers to give him anything he wants, Solomon asks for wisdom so he may best serve his people. Later verses tell of a dispute between two women who each had babies, but one of the infants had died. Each claimed the living child as their own and there was very little evidence to clearly proclaim who was the true mother. King Solomon passes his judgement saying that the baby should be cut in half so that each woman could possess a portion. One of the women breaks down in despair and relinquishes her claim, begging the king to spare the child. In so doing, she reveals to Solomon that she is the true mother.

However, there is often a lesson of humility in these stories, usually costing the protagonist his or her glory. Later in life, Solomon is led astray by his riches gained through his wisdom. He forgets the true source of his wisdom and falls to the sin of pride.

Pride – the belief that we are better than we really are…that we accomplished something without the grace of God.

That’s the tricky thing about wisdom. It can make us feel special, but in a specific and dangerous way. It can give us the sense that we are better than others because we understand something they don’t. It makes us forget that being humble is also showing great wisdom…arguably, the greatest wisdom. God is the wisest being, period. And He humbled Himself to become a servant of those He created, those who could NEVER understand all that He is or all that He does. Incredible!

I try to start off each morning thanking God for my life and for the day, but maybe I should add in a request. How can I be more humble today? Where can I give up the things I want today to serve others, thereby serving the God who gave me all that I have anyway? How can I grow in wisdom?

By humbly following the wisest being, period.



Related Stories

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

I love stories that deal with lessons of wisdom (or a lack thereof), Aesop’s Fables, nursery rhymes, mythological stories. Something about how seemingly insurmountable problems are solved with simple solutions always grabs my attention. Take the story of King Solomon in the first reading this week. When God appears to him in a dream and offers to give him anything he wants, Solomon asks for wisdom so he may best serve his people. Later verses tell of a dispute between two women who each had babies, but one of the infants had died. Each claimed the living child as their own and there was very little evidence to clearly proclaim who was the true mother. King Solomon passes his judgement saying that the baby should be cut in half so that each woman could possess a portion. One of the women breaks down in despair and relinquishes her claim, begging the king to spare the child. In so doing, she reveals to Solomon that she is the true mother.

However, there is often a lesson of humility in these stories, usually costing the protagonist his or her glory. Later in life, Solomon is led astray by his riches gained through his wisdom. He forgets the true source of his wisdom and falls to the sin of pride.

Pride – the belief that we are better than we really are…that we accomplished something without the grace of God.

That’s the tricky thing about wisdom. It can make us feel special, but in a specific and dangerous way. It can give us the sense that we are better than others because we understand something they don’t. It makes us forget that being humble is also showing great wisdom…arguably, the greatest wisdom. God is the wisest being, period. And He humbled Himself to become a servant of those He created, those who could NEVER understand all that He is or all that He does. Incredible!

I try to start off each morning thanking God for my life and for the day, but maybe I should add in a request. How can I be more humble today? Where can I give up the things I want today to serve others, thereby serving the God who gave me all that I have anyway? How can I grow in wisdom?

By humbly following the wisest being, period.


Have a news tip? Email [email protected] or Call/Text 360-922-3092

e-Edition


e-edition

Sign up


for our email newsletters

Weekly Top Stories

Sign up to get our top stories delivered to your inbox every Sunday

Daily Updates & Breaking News Alerts

Sign up to get our daily updates and breaking news alerts delivered to your inbox daily

Latest Stories


US bishops to decide whether to affirm opening the cause for Marian visionary Adele Brise
The U.S. bishops will soon hold a consultation on ...

Father Jean Felicien celebrates 10 years of priesthood with Mass
Father Jean R. Felicien celebrated the 10th anniversary of his priestly ordination ...

Pope: Humility is the 'gateway to all virtues’
Though not found on the classical list of cardinal or theological virtues, ...

Pope: Palliative care is 'concrete sign' of solidarity with those who are suffering
Palliative care seeks "to alleviate the ...

St. John Vianney softball rallies to win SCT title game
The process has been completed.


The Evangelist, 40 North Main Ave., Albany, NY, 12203-1422 | PHONE: 518-453-6688| FAX: 518-453-8448
© 2024 Trenton Monitor, All Rights Reserved.