One of the greatest struggles in our generation is in the areas of arrogance and humility. It is hard enough for most of us to admit to fault or failure, which is just admitting to reality. However, as hard as it can be to accept blame and responsibility for our mistakes and failures, the opposite it true when dealing with our successes and accomplishments. Most people, especially today, are all too happy to quickly take credit for things when they turn out as planned, or even better than expected.
Are we really the cause of our success and accomplishments? As we previously discussed in Results Are Not In Our Hands, success or failure are solely in the hands of Hashem. We are simply required to do our best, and let Hashem do what is best in His eyes.
Lead me in in Your truth, and teach me, for You are the G-d of my deliverance; for I have hoped in You (Tehillim 25:5).
David HaMelech had many successes in his life, as well as a number of obstacles to overcome. He prayed never to become conceited in his avodat Hashem, service of Hashem. Rather, he asked Hashem to help him understand how everything is really from Him; that it was He, in His compassion, who led David on the path of truth. This is the meaning of “Lead me in in Your truth … for You are the G-d of my deliverance.” [That is, You Hashem have helped me in all this, for You are the G-d who helps]. (Noam Elimelech, Miketz)
Humility is the source of everything holy; it is the foundation of everything. It is referred to as eikev, as in, “The reward for humility (eikev anava) is awe and fear of Hashem” (Proverbs 22:4). Eikev also means “the heel of the foot,” for the foot supports the rest of the body. Thus, there should be an element of humility in everything a person does. (Noam Elimelech, Eikev)
From David we learn that we should always pray to Hashem to help us in everything we do. Our part is to do our best, but the results are only in Hashem’s hands. Not only does this realization remove much of our stress and anxiety, but this humility in admitting that all success is only from Hashem is the source of holiness. “The reward for humility is awe and fear of Hashem.” By showing true humility in acknowledging that all our success comes solely from Hashem, not only do we enter the path of holiness, but we also are rewarded with proper awe and fear of Hashem!
Based on Noam Elimelech and The Tzetel Katan of Rebbe Elimelech