Several years ago at a Thanksgiving dinner, an extended family member said an unkind comment to me that I still remember each year as I reach for dessert. A couple of months ago, I watched an eruption on social media over the dresses worn to the Homecoming dance. Weeks before that, I’d seen outrage over a video that a football player posted. In all three instances, there were comments from all parties that lead to apologies…in person and online. And yet, we often know that apologies are helpful, but don’t always repair the hurt over some of those comments or judgments.
Have you ever misspoken? Stepped out of line? Gotten caught gossiping or lying? Or worse sins? Have you ever been confronted with your own sin-filled life…or have you ever confronted your own sin? Have you ever had to delete a social media post? Or a comment?
If so, you may have had a serving of humble pie.
According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, humble pie is a figurative serving of humiliation usually in the form of a forced submission, apology, or retraction.
As a child, I didn’t understand it as an act of humiliation. Rather, I saw the phrase as a means of making things right when I had made things wrong. To me, “eating humble pie” was an act of becoming more humble through an apology.
One of the areas that I struggle with being humble is on social media. Like many others, I share all aspects of my life on social media. I try to not be braggadocios or prideful in my posts. I find myself most guarded in my responses where I strive to not be condescending.
Solomon gives us guidance here, which encourages us to have a deep reading with thoughtfulness, rather than quick skimming and indignation in our responses. Proverbs 29:20 states “Do you see the man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” Solomon also advises that “the wise will inherit honor” (Proverbs 3:35), which lets us know that wisdom is honorable. This includes not being quick to respond…for often the hasty response will be one that later requires apologies.
As I’ve meditated on being humble in my responses on social media, I’ve come to realize that a humble character is showcased through social media…but it must be cultivated before social media. No other time in human history has it been so easy to display pridefulness (through social media), but likewise, there is no other time in human history that it’s been so easy to display humbleness. The more we understand humility and pride, the less often we must eat that humble pie.
Next week, let’s concentrate on how pride versus humility is displayed in our lives. Try to pay attention to how it is exhibited in our daily lives…and on social media.
And please, please, please have a Happy Thanksgiving with a slice of delicious pie!