Turning From Pride to Humility
“Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” (Matthew 23.12)
Christian author Max Lucado, in his book The Applause of Heaven, describes pride as synonymous to self-sufficiency (page 31). He reminds us about the rich man in the Bible, who was told by Jesus how hard it was for a rich man to enter heaven. This wasn’t because of the money itself. It was because the money brought a sense of self-sufficiency that often allowed little room for God. It wasn’t the big bucks; it was the big head.
Whether we are rich or poor, though, we all get caught up in our own pride from time to time and forget to be humble. Why do we do that? Well, it feels good to be proud. Proud of what we have accomplished, proud of the way people look up to us. Certainly hard work is something to be proud of. Certainly we are unique and so very special to God. Certainly God wants us to fully use all the gifts He has given us, in service to others.
Yet Proverbs 16:18 reminds us, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” So don’t be surprised when pride trips you up and you indeed hit rock bottom. You can’t say you weren’t warned.
Is fame is a source of pride, just wait for the media to bring you down, or the very people you thought were your true friends.
Your source of pride may be wisdom. Well, what is true wisdom? Could it be the willingness to learn, in humility? Proverbs 11:2 says, “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” And Proverbs 13:10 says, “Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.”
Isn’t true wisdom something to seek? If it is, then so is humility. Humility comes when you turn your eyes to God, and feel awe and fear. There is so much to be gained from humility. Psalm 149:4 says that the Lord “crowns the humble with salvation.” And according to Proverbs 3:34: “He mocks proud mockers but gives grace to the humble.” This means God opposes the proud and shows favor to the humble.
Don’t you want be lifted up? James 4:10 says, “Humble yourselves before the Lord and He will lift you up.” (James 4:10)
So wisdom and exaltation can be gained through humility. It sounds like a winning proposition to me!
Meditations on Pride versus Humility
(An excerpt from my book, “The Importance of Christian Friendships”)