Lent 2016 Gratitude and Humility

Saturday 27th February

Philippians 2:3
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit,
but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.

In normal life we hardly realise how much more we receive than give,
and life cannot be rich without such gratitude.
It is so easy to overestimate the importance of our own achievements
compared with what we owe to the help of others.
– Dietrich Bonhoeffer

The man I spoke of in yesterday’s reflection
came to understand the truth of Bonhoeffer’s words.
It is easy to overestimate the importance of our own achievements,
compared with what we owe to the help of others.
Gratitude is impossible without humility, the two go hand in hand.
Pride kills gratitude because it makes us focus
on what we believe we have achieved for ourselves,
rather than on the gifts that we have been given.
Humility does not mean we deny our talents and successes,
it just puts them into perspective and onto a wider playing field
so that we realise that our talents and success are not purely of our own making.
Our talents are gifts we are given,
and involve a lot of other people to whom we owe gratitude.
Humility means we recognise our deficiencies alongside our talents,
and accept our reliance on the gifts and talents of others, with humble thanks.