I wrestle with the thoughts of pride and humility: “God, I know I’m not supposed to be prideful, or think more highly of myself than I think of others. I know you want me to have a humble attitude in all situations, but every now and then, I simply don’t know what to do.”
When I am honest with God in this way, I am reminded that humility is an act of God’s grace. The same God who saves us by his grace, also graces us to respond to him and others in a manner that is pleasing. Therefore, our thought process should not be, “What can I do to become more humble,” but rather, “How can I surrender to God and trust him to develop the character he desires in me?”
Surrendering to God transitions us from a place of pride to a place of humility and we all need that transition to take place in our lives daily.
James 4: 7-10 [NIV] reads:
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come hear to you. Wash your hands you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
Surrendering to God prepares our hearts to humble ourselves before him. This surrender includes:
1. Resisting the devil: Other passages in the Bible call us to repent or turn away from sin that breaks our fellowship with God.
2. Drawing near to God: We can draw near to God by reading and studying His Word, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (which is already at work in our hearts). We can draw near to God through prayer. We also draw near to God through praise and worship, or engaging in fellowship and service with other believers.
3. A grief and cleansing of our sins: If we are truly humble, we learn to mourn over our own sin and over the sinners of others. Sin is no small matter to God. It was enough to send Jesus to the cross! Sin should break our hearts because it breaks the heart of God.
4. Humble ourselves before God.
When I completed a study on humility, I found numerous passages of those who humbled themselves before God and those whom God humbled. The conclusion of my study revealed: It is in our best interest to humble ourselves before God.
Take time over the next few weeks to look up the following passages:
|Exodus 10:3||Deut 8:2-3, 16|
|1 Kings 11:39, 2 Kings 22:19||1 Sam 2:7|
|2 Chron 7:14, 2 Chron 12: 7, 12||2 Chron 28:19|
|2 Chron 33: 12, 19, 23, 34:27||Psalm 44:9|
|2 Chron 36:12, Ezra 8:21||Isaiah 2:17, 5:15|
|Psalm 35:13, Prov 6:3||Isaiah 9:1, 13:11|
|Isaiah 58:3,5; Jeremiah 44:10||Isaiah 23:9, 26:5|
|Daniel 5:22, 10:12, Zeph 2:3||Daniel 4:37|
|Matt 18:4, 23:12; Luke 14:11||2 Chron 12:21|
|Luke 18:14; James 4:10; 1 Pet 5:6|
Notice the contrast in God’s response between those who humble themselves before Him and those He had to humble.
God, I thank you that your Word is true, that you hold our hearts in the palm of your hand, that you long for us to become the people that you would have us to be and you are with us in this process. I thank you for the Holy Spirit that works to transform us into the image of your Son, Jesus, the humble servant who surrendered himself to you and was obedient unto death. Show us how to hear your voice and humble ourselves before you. Thank you for promising to lift us up when we respond to you rightly in this way. In Jesus name, Amen.
2 thoughts on “Pride and Humility: Getting from Here to There”
Funny to read this today … someone was saying in my writer’s group last night that it seemed unfair that as an introvert, her spouse didn’t seem to need to learn humility: for introverts, it’s built-in. I’m not sure it’s actually that simple, but to an extravert it probably looks that way.
I was just engaged in an extensive conversation with my husband about my lifelong challenge of being vulnerable. I grew to think that being vulnerable wasn’t something that I could be thus it has plagued relationship after relationship in my life. Being humble is not a challenge for me, but Pride has been my friend for quite a long time.