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Seeing through Eyes of Humility

This post is part 2 of a series on A New Way of Seeing. As a reminder, it’s hard to know what’s real. When you’re confused by anxiety, OCD, or the voices of your past controlling religion, it’s hard to know whom to trust. You don’t have to trust your OCD and anxiety, but you can learn to trust your healthy intuition, the word of God, and your faithful guides.

The next element of healthy knowing that we are going to discuss is humility.

In her book, Humble Roots, Hannah Anderson uses the analogy of tomatoes to help us understand the importance of humility. Many tomato farmers gas their tomatoes with ethylene so they develop faster. Why? Because consumers want the certainty that tomatoes will always be available, summer or winter, rain or shine.

OCD wants answers right away. Today. Controlling religions are also uncomfortable with uncertainty. They want absolute truth, unchanging answers to slap onto every problem. Our minds often want the certainty that answers will be available, day and night, rain or shine.

Sound familiar? We often allow our anxiety, our church leaders, or our OCD to give us “prepackaged answers,” instant solutions. No matter how unappetizing and fake they are.

But real life is complicated. God is complicated because he is a real person in relationship with us.

It’s difficult to tolerate the uncertainty… to just let it linger… But that’s exactly what we need to do if we want our knowledge and understanding to mature. We need to stop trying to figure it out today. We must let “knowledge ripen on the vine.” Life is complicated; it’s difficult to come up with quick solutions. “Instead of seeking certainty, we must… follow Jesus in the midst of uncertainty.”

We need to allow the discomfort to stick around. Hannah Anderson says we must "wait for answers that, in God’s own wisdom, may never come. … "

As you humbly experiment with testing God's perfect will (Romans 12:2-3), you’ll see that you won’t stay in the dark forever. As the voice of OCD or controlling religion quiets, reality will start filtering back into your consciousness. Jesus is comfortable allowing his followers to have partial knowledge, not knowing everything (John 16:12-14). You can take the risk of moving forward with the knowledge that you do have, knowing that Jesus is watching over you every step of the way.

"Humility …. teaches us that we don’t need to know everything as long as we know the one who does know.”--Hannah Anderson[1]

“You are safe, you can stop fighting. Not because your own mind has made you safe, but because Jesus—the wisdom from above—has made you safe.” --Hannah Anderson[2]

How can you cultivate humility as you learn to make contact with reality?

To learn more about OCD and faith, visit Justin K. Hughes' excellent blog series.

[1] All quotes from Hannah Anderson, Humble Roots, pg. 130-133

[2] Hannah Anderson, Humble Roots, pg. 127

The concept of humility as an ingredient to healthy knowing comes from Loving to Know by Esther Lightcap Meek

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