Our Western culture has a different way - the perfection game. Where we want to climb the ladder of success all the time. We celebrate our successes and ignore our failures. We have turned religion into this? What are you doing right? What are you doing wrong? Is life all about image? Is life all about achieving an honour point system? How many points have you scored?
Recently, Australia tore up an agreement to build 90 billion dollars’ worth of French submarines. The French president in English declared “The Australian Prime Minister has lied to me”. Australia denied the lie. This response is built from the perfection game. It does not matter the truth, but rather, the image or the thinking “I am right, and you are wrong”. But look what it has done. The relationship between Australians and the French is only getting worse. People have lost their jobs. By ignoring the facts and defending honour. The relationship is getting worse. Humility is a different mode. Humility would listen and not presume to have the answer before the answer. What is reality beyond what I can see? Humility leans into vulnerability. This may change things and the words “I am sorry how this has hurt you” may be spoken.
Humility can also be seen through our own personal relationships. Recently my wife was very angry with me. She was walking around the house getting angrier and angrier. I did not know why she was angry so I said, “you should not be angry with me”. I ignored the reality. But this only made things worse. This is the perfection game where my perception dictates how things happen. Instead I could have said “ You seem angry. Tell me. Tell me about your feeling”. Instead of addressing the issue head on which may only cause direct conflict. Address what I can see. The emotion. The emotion is the doorway to the issue. The emotion finds a deeper reality than that what I can think. This takes great humility because it allows a letting go of the guise of perfection and rather has a different mode of being. Leaning into vulnerability, by saying “sorry”, or taking a risk builds the relationship. This is true love. Love which is willing to sacrifice. This is Christ like. To sacrifice the self for the one you love.
But in a relationship, this is tricky because one of the parties maybe always the one giving and then the other party may always be the one taking. Thus, people get used. But when we look at God there are 3 persons in the relationship. Having a counsellor or third party available to talk about things is a great way to work through difficult issues. But this takes courage.
So, I ask you – “Which mode you operate from?” The perfection game where people become blind or humility. The ability to lean into our vulnerability. Like Christ, our wounds can become the key holes which can transform us.