Humility. It is the word that keeps popping up lately. We all struggle to be humble. We all struggle with the sin of pride. I once was talking with a woman, sharing with her about a recent struggle in the area of pride and she said, “That’s one sin I never struggle with.” It shut me up. It seems it’s the sin I struggle most with. Perhaps I was really as bad as I thought. Perhaps I wasn’t even a Christian!
It’s been five years since that conversation and what I have realized since then is that everyone struggles with pride. EVERYONE. In fact my pastor said in a recent sermon that “every sin is rooted in pride.”
It’s pride that says my way of doing things or my idea is better than yours.
It’s pride that says I deserve this (whatever this is) and I am going to have it even if it might not be good for me or sinful.
It’s pride that says my time is more important than yours so I will make you wait.
It’s pride that keeps people at arms length because you’ve been hurt.
It’s pride that says I don’t have to obey that rule or that law because I don’t like it.
It’s pride that says you aren’t like me, you don’t “fit” into my culture so I will not attempt to know who you really are.
Tim Keller says in his book, The Freedom of Self Forgetfulness, “Spiritual pride is the illusion that we are competent to run our own lives, achieve our own sense of self-worth and find a purpose big enough to give us meaning in life without God.” So basically anytime I try to live my life without seeking God first I am being prideful. Anytime I try to find my worth in anything apart from God I am being prideful.
Pride. It’s bigger than we think. It’s deeper than we see. And unless we begin to call it was it is it will become a stronghold in our heart and life. It is sin. It is a deep sin that has been ingrained in the human heart since the first sin of pride in the garden of Eden.
So what is the answer? What can a prideful heart do? Go to the cross and confess. Run to the cross of Christ and surrender your pride. The cross is where we find humility. Humility is a holy God who chooses to become man so that He could pay the blood price for sin.
Jesus calls us to be humble. He came to show us what true humility looks like. True humility puts the other persons needs before your own.
True humility says that you and your happiness is more important than my own.
True humility doesn’t spend all day thinking of self or what self needs, wants or desires.
True humility shows compassion, forgiveness and grace toward those who they have been hurt by.
True humility says I am not deserving that God would use me but so grateful He does.
Again a quote from Tim Keller that says, “This is gospel-humility, blessed self-forgetfulness. Not thinking less of myself as in modern cultures, or less of myself as in traditional cultures. Simply thinking of myself less.” Oh to be humble enough that I simply forget to think about myself!
So, what I have learned is that to think one does not struggle with pride is in itself pride. We all struggle with it in some form or fashion. I have learned that, yes I struggle with pride, but knowing this should send me to the cross admitting that I am a sinner.
Oh to be humble! To be completely overwhelmed with my utter depravity, not to cause shame, but so that I might fall prostrate before a Holy God and confess my sin. Yes this is my prayer, that God might make me humble. That He might show me the areas of my heart where pride has taken root and has manifested itself in wrong behaviors and attitudes.
Oh Make me humble Lord. This is what I pray!