…And Relationships Help Keep Our Pride in Check
Humility: Chapters 10 and 11
We are continuing our discussion of Humility: True Greatness with a focus on “Inviting and Pursuing Correction” (Chapter 10) and “Responding Humbly to Trials” (Chapter 11).
Pride not only destroys; it deceives. Sin in its deceptive power so often blinds us, leaving us unaware of flaws that others notice clearly (123).
As I read that sentence, I thought of how much of our suffering is connected to sin (either our own or the consequences we experience from others) I also thought about how difficult it seems to utter the words, “I’m sorry. I apologize for… [state exactly what we did to offend or sin against the other person]” and then follow our statement of confession by asking for their forgiveness. Our own pride and maybe the fear of how the receiving party will respond keeps us from humbly loving others in this way. Yet God calls us to intentional acts of peacemaking, and we need others to help us on the road to humbly making peace with others.
Romans 12:18 reads, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone [NIV].”
This scripture alone implies that there may be people in which you cannot maintain a healthy relationship. In light of this reality, the scripture requires that we make the effort to live at peace with everyone. It is important to note that this scripture is sandwiched between verses 17 which reads, “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone,” and verse 19 which says that we should not take revenge. Together, these scriptures reveal the sinful responses which blinds us when we have been wronged by someone. Sometimes we do want to repay evil for evil. We do want to defend ourselves, take revenge, and ensure that everyone knows that we are right. Paul’s solution to these prideful temptations are to change our perspectives.
Instead of seeing our own way, we should balance our blurred vision by seeking the help of others. A safe community of Christians can help us see our “pockets of spiritual blindness,” assist in our suffering and difficult relationships, and keep us accountable to growing in the likeness and character of Jesus Christ.
“See to it brothers that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God but encourage one another daily, as long as it is called today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness (Heb 3:12-13).”
“My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins (James 5:19-20).”
Here are some questions to continually ask and explore in a safe community:
Do I confess my sin consistently?
Do I confess specific instances of sin and not just general categories or general references to sin”
Do others find it easy to correct me?
Do others know the areas of temptation in my life at present?
Do they know the most pronounced patterns of sin in my life at present? (page 130)
Let the peace of God which transcends all understanding guard your heart and mind in Jesus Christ (Phil 3:7). Amen.
Introduction: What is Humility?
Chapter 1: The Perils of Pride
Chapter 2: The Dangers of Pride
Chapter 3: Who Wants to be Great?
Chapter 4: Can We Learn Humility?
Chapter 5: Make a List
Chapter 6: How Well Do You Sleep?
Chapters 7 & 8: Live Humbly
Chapter 9: Watch Your Mouth
© Natasha Sistrunk Robinson 2013