Pride goeth before the fall. C.S. Lewis says that humility is looking more at God than at ourselves. The Pharisees were more interested in how they are in other's peoples eyes instead of how they are in God's eyes. How often we too care more about how we appear to others than how we really are in God's eyes. It is not prideful to acknowledge our gifts. It is prideful to imagine they have been given to us in order to make us better off than others. They have been given to us in order to serve others - God leaves that to our choice. Should we choose to exalt ourselves we will be humbled. But if we humble ourselves, God will exalt us.
All our gifts are from God, everything is grace, and our gifts must be used to build up others and the Kingdom of God. We begin to be fully alive when we use our gifts wisely for giving glory to God. We are able to escape the trappings of ego-comparison, which never leads to true happiness. We can focus on how we can use our gifts to build others up and the Kingdom of God, and not to tie up heavy burdens. This is what it means to live humbly and to experience true freedom. It matters not what others think of us, but only what God knows of us, which is the truth. The more we keep our eyes fixed on Christ and put our gifts at the service of God and others, the more free, humble, and happy we will be.
Daily Lenten reflections by Father Browning.