Humility is a good thing. It teaches one his ultimate position relative to God. 

Well into my business career, I went with a new colleague to call on a particular company (forever nameless). We were out and about that day meeting folks and trying to build new business; and I, being the veteran, was showing this bright, young lad the ropes–or so I intended. We had been waiting in the lobby for a few minutes when a man emerged from around the corner. He walked briskly forward with hand extended, which I heartily shook while simultaneously introducing myself in as friendly and confident a manner as I could muster (this is how you do it, new guy, I pridefully thought to myself). “Hi,” I announced, “I’m Kevin Murray.” To which this man curtly responded, “With.” In my efforts to affect having a genial nature and all-around good manners (and without much forethought apparently!), I responded most enthusiastically, “Nice to meet you, With!” “No,” he clarified, now visibly uncomfortable, “who are you with?”

At this point, cherished reader, feel free to review the last several lines to comprehend the full extent of my humiliation before continuing on. Yes, I actually thought he was introducing himself. I have no explanation. Rest assured, there was no recovery, and there’s no point in telling you otherwise. I simply fumbled my way through the rest of the conversation, while resolving how to extricate myself as soon as possible from this walk-in-the-park-turned-train-wreck. 

I must have succeeded because I recall the sensation of somehow traveling backwards and out through the lobby door without moving my feet (wishful thinking or an out-of-body experience–you be the judge). This was followed by the only redeeming part of the trip: our retreat back to the office. I drove the entire interminable way in abject quietude. My protege’s spirits, on the other hand, seemed enlivened beyond description. On a twist of the biblical exhortation to “pray without ceasing,” he laughed without ceasing the whole way. And come to think of it, though many years have passed, I’m not sure he’s ever stopped. I am grateful to have provided so much cheer, but the expense has proven to be a bit extortionate.

The Book of James (vs. 4:6) says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” I must concede, therefore, that God was opposed to my actions that fateful day when we walked through that lobby door. And to this day, whenever my colleague (now a dear friend and very successful businessman, I hesitate to add) reminds me of my enduring gaffe, you can be certain that I cling desperately to every measure of God’s grace. 

I hope this encourages you to bear with any necessary correction today.

-Kevin Murray
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