As a therapist I have to be careful. I can’t internalize my clients successes and I also can’t internalize their failures. The former is pretty easy. I am good at recognizing that another person’s success rarely has anything to do with me and has everything to do with them and God. But that later? Much more difficult to accept.
I remember the verse God placed on my heart last year. Humble yourself before the Lord and He will lift you up (James 4:10). It didn’t matter what part of the Bible I was studying, or what book I was reading, God would always bring my heart back to this place. I wasn’t sure why…I mean…I felt like I tried to be humble. I wasn’t perfect at it, but who is? I didn’t take credit for my place in life. I knew it was only by the grace of God that I even maintained the position I was in. But then God shifted my perspective to the other side of humility. A side I was not familiar with at all.
The other side of humility (for me) pairs closely with the fact that I have a limited amount control. Yes I am in control of my own thoughts, actions, and behaviors. But when I internalize another person’s actions, thought processes, behaviors, or even circumstances – I am anything but humble. I see myself as having way more control that God ever intended. He gave us all free will, and that free will not only applies to them, but it also means I am not in charge of anyone else.
And it doesn’t mean I can’t offer help, skills, suggestions, and always a safe place to be heard and understood. It doesn’t mean I don’t do everything in my power to have as much specialized knowledge as possible on how certain things affect certain people or the biology of how the brain works. Of course I embrace and use these things. But at the end of the day, I have to know the outcome never has and never will rest with me. God has power to do far more than I could ever imagine – or possibly choose to do nothing at all. He always knows best.
When I accept this as truth I am free to give my all — released from pressure and anxiety. I am lifted up beyond the outcome and free to just be me. He asks us to be humble not just because it’s a “good” way to be but because it helps us function in the fullness of His grace each and every day. Humility is a blessing as we begin to realize He is the ultimate author.