Verse 12: For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
Reading the twelve verses in three translations separated by time, I am struck that this last verse, unlike other verses, is almost verbatim among the three. I read them in my grandfather’s Scofield reference Bible, 1909; the Revised Standard Version that was presented to me at my confirmation in 1952, the same day that President Truman received his; and the New International Version given to me by Fr. Smith at Trinity Cathedral.
The subject of humility is timeless and unchanging, and it appears when we least expect it, in positive ways. About 15 years ago, I arranged to meet a physician who specialized in an area with which a charity needed guidance. I was asking him to be on the Advisory Panel. I don’t remember whether it was at the end of that first meeting or some later time that he told me that the reason that he agreed was that I approached him with humility, something quite unexpected to me and not on my radar at all. I suppose he was accustomed to professional sales people pitching medical equipment or pharmaceuticals. Whatever the reason, it was a good lesson for me.
The scripture contrasts humility with exaltation. It does not contrast humility with confidence. I believe confidence can go together with humility: a quiet humility, not bragging. The exaltation in our lives is the exaltation of God in His glory and mercy.
Peg Calder has been a member of Trinity Cathedral for 2 years. She has been learning to play the harp in her retirement.