Have you ever heard someone describe their favorite culinary dish as “heavenly?” Desserts are frequently described this way. What is your favorite dessert? Perhaps it is: warm apple pie à la mode, pumpkin pie, chocolate cake, flan, tiramisu, or crème brûlée? What if there actually was a heavenly desert that could bring us closer to God. Wouldn’t we want to eat it? There is! Discover the recipe below.
I promised you a heavenly dessert that would draw you closer to God. This dessert is something every single one of us needs to add to our diet. We need to eat it frequently. I didn’t, however, say that it would taste good. Like a medicine that is good for us, this dessert can be bitter and difficult to swallow. So, just what is this heavenly desert? It is Humble Pie.
The word humble means to not be proud or haughty, not arrogant or assertive, having or showing a modest or low estimate of one’s own importance. So then, what exactly is humble pie you might ask. Today, humble pie is an expression that means to humble oneself, or to be forced to admit error or wrongdoing. It might surprise you to know that humble pie was once a real pie.
Originally a “numble” pie was made with the innards, offal, or entrails of a deer. Overtime the “N” was dropped to become “umble” and later again the “H” was added to become humble pie. This offal meat pie was considered inferior food. In medieval times, the pie was often served to lower-class people.
The Bible makes clear that pride is at the root of all sin. In Psalms 138:6 we read, “the LORD is on high, but cares for the lowly and knows the proud from afar.” In James 4:6 it states, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
It has been said that pride is the foundation on which all of the deadly sins are built. The opposite of pride is humility. Therefore, humility is the virtue on which all other virtues rest. Simply stated, we all need to eat more humble pie.
Last Sunday, those Christian churches that follow the lectionary heard the story of Naaman from 2 Kgs 5:14-17. Bishop Robert Barron gave a phenomenal homily about this passage. Naaman was the proud, highly esteemed, strong, and feared Syrian army commander who suffered from leprosy. Barron explains that Naaman was forced to humble himself in order to be cured. Continuing in his homily he tells us that like Naaman, we all need to humble ourselves. I have included his homily below for those who are interested.
Famed Christian author C.S. Lewis called pride the worst of all sins. He went on to say, “There is one vice of which no man in the world is free; which everyone in the world loathes when he sees it in someone else and of which hardly any people, except Christians, ever imagine that they are guilty themselves. There is no fault which makes a man more unpopular, and no fault which we are more unconscious of in ourselves. And the more we have it ourselves, the more we dislike it in others.”
Pride causes us to try to turn ourselves into God and to live by the rules we make. Like Adam and Eve who disobeyed God and ate the forbidden fruit, you and I commit sins which we know God disapproves of.
It requires humility to lower ourselves in the presence of God and submit to His higher authority. We all have something, either physical or physiological, that we struggle with. We have obsessions, addictions, hurts and pains that we can’t get over without relying on God. It takes humility to acknowledge that we are weak and dependent people.
These weaknesses, struggles, addictions, and pains can cause embarrassment. We usually do all we can to hide them from others. There is, however, some good news. When we speak with humility and admit our shortcomings and failures, and acknowledge that without God’s grace and mercy we would be damned, we are then driven to our knees at the foot of the cross. This type of humility is pleasing to God.
Proverbs 16:18 tells us, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” Likewise, Proverbs 11:2 says, “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.” Jesus says it this way in Matthew 23:12 “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”
I can’t speak for you, but I get tripped up by my pride all the time. Through my pride, sin manifests itself in my life. Can you see how pride may be hurting you? Do you see how it is the root cause of sin in your life? Would you benefit from a healthy dose of humility? If so, it may be time for you and for me to take a big bite of humble pie. It is after all, a heavenly desert!
Heavenly Father, grant me true humility. Give me the grace and strength to submit to your will. Help me to accept and live by your precepts. And most of all Lord, grant me mercy and forgiveness when I fall short. Amen!
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