Words of Wisdom Part 3: What Does Humble Look Like?



What If you’re not a humble person? What does humble look like? Everybody has a personality? Someone may be quiet and you think that’s humble.


Gerondas


If you’re not a humble person your small steps towards humility counts a hundred times more than someone’s who is more humble by nature and he just has to do a tiny step.


Audience


When you say humble, you try and humble yourself and you don’t want God to humble you because that would be embarrassing, so, what would that look like in an average person? Would you be nice at the supermarket and let someone else in?


Gerondas


Every little thing, even when you drive. I’m always told I’m the worse driver. Even when you drive you show your character.


Audience


Before someone said that they stopped asking God: “make me humble.” So, what is it that we have to ask God for?


Gerondas


For God’s mercy and God knows. We should realise that without God we are nothing and that if we have anything it’s only from God and if we try to take credit for what God has given us we might lose everything.

Whatever God has given us, He has given it to us for the Church. Has given it through us to everyone. When you see someone suffering just try and put yourself in their shoes. Usually the suffering of our times is not, and especially in a country like Australia, it’s not poverty. But you see a person suffering from loneliness or you see a person who suffers psychologically, you see a person with depression or anxiety. These are daily issues that our friends, relatives and everyone around us deal with.

If we can be by their sides in these situations, this is when we tell God: “look I’ll do my best to help in any way I can, if I can, but please help me as well”. This is attracting God’s Grace in our everyday life.


To judge yourself correctly, you have to be like the Saints. They were saying they were the worst people, they meant it, they were right and at the same time they were great. What do I mean by that? It doesn’t make any sense logically but once you become One with God, then you see things with God’s eyes. Then you can judge yourself and then when you say I’m the worst out of everyone. This is the reality because you know exactly what God has given you and you know exactly what you have not done with God’s Grace that He has given you. Then you are guiltier than anyone else who never had received God’s Grace (if we could ever say that someone has never received any Grace at all).


Then you will know how you will be judged. The more you are given, the more you will be asked for. Then you will know why you are below the whole creation, even though people may think you are great because you are still a spiritual person or whatever else. But what matters is that you know, with God’s eyes, what you will look in God’s eyes, how you will look in front of God in your last day, in the day of Judgement. And you know you have to fix what you have to fix to be able to be up there where God wants you to be.


Audience


Ιn more practical terms, even if we are not married, can we try whatever brings peace around us first?


Gerondas


Yes, this could be the case in most situations. Our Lord says: “blessed are the peace makers for they shall be called sons of God” (Mat.5,9). The Gospel indicates that this is a way of becoming Christlike. If you become like Christ you will also be humble.

We can’t practice the same though with matters of our faith. E.g. to have peace with the Muslims to sacrifice your beliefs.


The Holy Martyrs were giving up their lives for their faith. So to make peace with the others you need a personal healthy sense of the ethically right and wrong. Then you can try to humble yourself to keep the peace with your brother.

If the argument is as to how to use machinery correctly not to destroy it but to finish your job, don’t worry about it.


There is no spiritual value if you have an argument and keep the machine safe. It is better that it brakes, if this is to keep your peace with your brother. This does not mean you will not inform him nicely in every detail about the results of the wrong operation of the equipment. It just means that after explaining yourself, guard your peace. Not the machine. But we can’t practice the same in matters of faith, if it means that we have to compromise our faith or with moral issues.


Audience


So that’s the only time.


Gerondas


Yes. When it comes to family arguments you can compromise as much as you can handle.




This [article series] has been transcribed and edited from a talk in a young families gathering in Perth, Western Australia, organised by the Greek Orthodox Monastery of St John.

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