Laboring for Humility


Abba Carion said, ‘I have labored much harder than my son Zacharias and yet I have not attained to his measure of humility and silence.’

 —-Sayings of the Desert

Person in prayer Very few of us would think of humility as a laborious task, yet the Abba speaks this word about himself. There are two distinct lines of thought in this very brief saying. First, humility is not only a sought after state for the contemplative but is a lifelong labor. The second is the apparent unfairness of some people being rewarded even if they labor less than we do.

 Humility is a hard task, and we must wake every day to the familiar words of the Jesus Prayer, “… have mercy on me, a SINNER.” Until we see ourselves as worthy of nothing but graciously gifted with His saving grace, we will never attain any sort of true humility.

 Feeling cheated or let down by God is an age old problem. So many times in our lives we have felt as though we have done all we can do, and we are still lacking. Exasperatingly, we are confronted with others who did less and received abundant blessings. The lesson here is that we do what we do out of love and worship of God, and not for reward from Him.

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3 Comments

Filed under Ascetics, Christian Journey, Devotional Quotes, Humility, Labor

3 responses to “Laboring for Humility

  1. amen. one of my favorite books on humility (and pride) is Andrew Murray’s “Humility: The Beauty of Holiness.” He speaks to this “laboring” for it. Since reading it my daily cry has been that God would not only humble me, but change my heart to such a degree that I would love humility. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Might it be possible that we try too hard in the efforts of the flesh to attain some virtue – which it can never do, when what it may take is complete surrender to the Holy Spirit who alone can “construct” the Mind of Christ within us?

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