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COLUMN: Failure to show humility teaches important lesson

COLUMN: Failure to show humility teaches important lesson

Mike Ruffin

Mike Ruffin

“And I will not give my glory to another.” (Isaiah 48:11)

The Bible teaches us that there are two things God will not share: vengeance and glory. I learned a great lesson about the latter during a job interview many years ago.

We all approach interviews pretty much the same way: We dress appropriately for them to make a good first impression. When the questions come, we answer them honestly, knowing all the time that it’s our chance to illustrate how our knowledge, skills, and abilities are a close match for the position. Appearance is a plus, but the answers to the questions asked are most often what win the job.

In my zeal to illustrate how closely I thought my skills matched the job requirements, I presented myself so strongly that I made the wrong impression. At the end of the interview, one of the seven individuals who would be making the decision about hiring me asked somewhat rhetorically, “You’re pretty high on yourself, aren’t you”.

I was stunned! When I did answer, I pointed out that I was not perfect and had learned from mistakes made during my career. However, I pointed that out that I also had enjoyed success from hard work and preparation. But it was too late, and I knew it. I had talked myself right out of the job.

What a time for God to teach me a lesson. Here was an opportunity to show these folks the humility that so many in my current job have seen in me. Instead, I allowed unbridled arrogance to show up, knowing all the time that “God resists the proud”. (1 Peter 5:5)

We all have times in our lives when we have said or done things that we look back on with embarrassment. This was one of those moments for me. I am not an arrogant man. In fact, salvation has brought more humility to my life than any other quality. Yet, all of us fail God when we allow worldly qualities to show up in our lives that do not represent the Christian values that salvation has instilled in us.

The years that have passed since this unfortunate incident have allowed me to reflect on what happened. I have come to realize that while God sanctified me at salvation, he continues to teach me the lessons that are necessary to be more like Christ. Peter referred to these life changing experiences as growing “in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ”. (II Peter 3:18)

As Christians, we haven’t arrived and still have much to learn. In short, because God is not through with us, He will continue to teach us through both our successes and our failures. Learning through both is what helps to ensure that our pride will never overcome our humility.

I am glad I did not get the job I thought I wanted. God knew all along that it was not for me. Yet, he used the opportunity to show me a side of myself that continues to need a lot of work.

While I wasn’t the right man for that job, it was the right time to remind me my relationship with Christ needed some work.

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