Have you ever paused and realized, “Wow, I’m just focusing on the negative”? Or caught yourself analyzing other people with a bit of resentment? If we are honest, our answer would be “yes.”
First, it is important to acknowledge the root of these thoughts. Could it be envy, pride, anger, jealousy? Whatever it may be, it is essential to name the sin. By naming it, you now can tame it. The beauty of knowing about the virtues is they provide a way to tame our vices and move us toward goodness. By nature, we were created to know and live in truth.
Humility, which is foundational to the virtues, can be compared to the rock (Mt. 7:25) of the wise man’s house. It is derived from the Latin word humilis, which means “low.” It is an awareness that all one’s gifts come from God and an appreciation for the gifts of others. “But,” you may wonder, “how is being low the same as being as strong as a rock foundation?” A truly humble person knows their strengths and weaknesses and isn’t afraid to name them. They can receive feedback from others and recognize the good in other people. Not threatened by the “success” of others, they rejoice when others excel and praise God for the gifts bestowed on them.
During these days of Advent, I encourage you to secure as the rock foundation of “your house” the beautiful virtue of humility. It will enable you to recognize and name the sins that weaken your house’s foundation. Then, with God’s grace, you can tame them and experience the joy of living in freedom and truth.