Pride vs. HumilityMay 6, 2020
Without God, we have a tiny amount of knowledge, power, or ability.
Think about it for a second, we have no knowledge of what will happen thirty minutes from now. We can plan all we want, but we don’t actually have control of any future events or time. And even if we did know, we wouldn’t have the power to change it. We don’t know who will win the next election, if our children will turn out the way we hope they do, or when our last breath will be taken from us. We are human. We have moments of insecurity, fear, doubt, and anxiety. God never has those moments and He never will.
I like the enneagram. It’s a great tool to better understand a few of our natural tendencies, but we are still so ignorant to the people we are and the untapped potential God has for us. We put limits on ourselves. We label ourselves. We identify and relate with others, when God never actually wanted us to be just one thing. He wants us to be attentive to his voice so that we are multi-dimensional people only walking around the next corner, listening for his still small voice that comes and goes like a whisper, directing our paths. We are nothing compared to God – but because he lives in us – we can be and do anything through him. This is such a tricky subject to talk about. Can we even recognize when we are humble? How would we know? I believe anytime we think of ourselves highly, we are like little children who think they know better than their parents. To God, we appear like a simpleminded toddler – mad that we didn’t get the toy we wanted. It’s almost comical. Except that it’s not.
God hates pride, especially false humility. Some people don’t even realize their arrogance. We’ve all been there. We have to have the last word. That’s pride. We are entitled to a good day or good health. That’s pride. We have a hard time listening without talking or we re-direct every conversation and make it about us. One extreme example of pride would be feeling like you are truly, THE WOMAN! If you think you can do no wrong – you don’t even realize the arrogance in your heart. You don’t admit that you need help or that someone else could be better gifted at that endeavor. You make excuses for yourself. You look down on others. You compare your scarlet letter and say “well at least I’m not like her.…” You wear self-righteousness and racism and judgement like a badge of honor. Another extreme example would be that you feel completely unusable by God. Is that a word? Unusable… Anyway, it’s actually a sin to wallow in our shame and get so down on ourselves that we don’t trust God to show up and use us (especially in our weaknesses). We are not expected to be everything to everyone.
We have real strengths and weaknesses. God didn’t design us to do everything well. He wants us to work together for his kingdom – not as individuals – and definitely not as men and women who covet one another’s gifting.
I always feel less prideful when I’m focusing on what I’m grateful for. And when I’m hungry and on fire for God’s word. And when I look up to the sky and realize how small I am. I encourage you to be studious. Ask questions. Read commentaries. Don’t ever think you know enough about God and the Bible just because you’ve been to church and know the stories. That’s pride. We must continue to seek him. We must live in awe of him. We must live in humility – always asking for wisdom and confidence in him – not ourselves.
I’ve linked an old song that always brings me to my knees. You don’t have to pay attention to the graphics or the background video. Just concentrate on the words, close your eyes and listen if you need to.
I’ve compiled a list of several verses straight from the Bible to reflect on. I encourage you to read them over and over again. Pray over them and ask God for forgiveness. I know I have been.
To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.
footnotes: wisdom hates what God hates. The highest virtue is humility (submission to God) and thus wisdom hates pride and self-exaltation above all.
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.
footnotes: from a root meaning “to boil” or “to run over” indicating an overwhelmingly arrogant attitude or behavior. part of humility is a humble and teachable spirit that is first of all directed toward God.
Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.
footnotes: the proud spurn advice from others; the wise accept it.
How much better to get wisdom than gold, to get insight rather than silver. The highway of the upright avoids evil; those who guard their ways preserve their lives. Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
footnotes: the highway of the upright represents the habitual course of the righteous in departing from evil. as long as he stays on it, he is safe. the proud are those who have plundered the poor.
Pride brings a person low, but the lowly in spirit gain honor.
They will stretch out their hands in it, as swimmers stretch out their hands to swim. God will bring down their pride despite the cleverness of their hands.
2 corinthians 5:12
We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart.
footnotes: those who have no integrity, such as Paul’s opponents in Corinth, have to take pride in externals, which can be any false doctrine accompanied by showy hypocrisy.
2 corinthians 7:4
I have spoken to you with great frankness; I take great pride in you. I am greatly encouraged; in all our troubles my joy knows no bounds.
footnotes: frankness can be translated boldness or confidence. Paul was confident of God’s ongoing work in their lives – another proof of Paul’s love for the corinthian believers.
Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load.
footnotes: believers first must be sure their lives are right with God before giving spiritual help to others. If a believer rejoices or boasts, it should be only boasting in the Lord for what God has done in him, not for what he supposedly has accomplished, compared to other believers.
Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position. But the rich should take pride in their humiliation - since they will pass away like a wild flower. For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business.
footnotes: refers to the boasting of a privilege; it is the joy of legitimate pride. Although he has nothing in this world, the poor believer can rejoice in his high spiritual standing before God by grace and the hope that comes with it. Trials make all believers equally dependent on God, and bring them to the same level with one another by keeping them from becoming preoccupied with earthly things. Poor Christians and wealthy ones can rejoice that God is no respecter of persons and that they both have the privilege of being identified with Christ.
In your majesty ride forth victoriously in the cause of truth, humility, and justice; let your right hand achieve awesome deeds.
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.
Wisdom's instruction is to fear the Lord, and humility comes before honor.
footnotes: the fear of the Lord is a state of mind in which one’s own attitudes, will, feelings, deeds, and goals are exchanged for God’s.
Before a downfall the heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor.
Humility is the fear of the Lord; its wages are riches and honor and life.
Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land, you who do what he commands. Seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you will be sheltered on the day of the Lord's anger.
footnotes: even the humble, those who had followed the law of the Lord, were encouraged to continue to manifest fruits of repentance, so they would be sheltered in the day of His judgement.
I served the Lord with great humility and with tears and in the midst of severe testing by the plots of my Jewish opponents.
footnotes: Paul wept because of those who did not know Christ, immature believers who were struggling, and the threat of false teachers.
2 Corinthians 10:1
By the humility and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you - I, Paul, who am "timid"when face to face with you, but bold toward you when away.
footnotes: the humble and gentle attitude that expresses itself in patient endurance of unfair treatment. A humble person is not bitter or angry, and he does not seek revenge when wronged.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.
footnotes: this refers to the pursuit of personal glory, which is the motivation for selfish ambition. This is an “empty glory”
Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen, they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind.
footnotes: since the false teachers took great delight in their “humility” – it was actually pride – which God hates.
Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.
footnotes: they were seeking to put on a public show of their supposed holiness.
Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
james 3: 13
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.
1 peter 5:5-6
In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
footnotes: submission is an attitude of spiritual maturity. That you are never “too good” to serve. One of the evidences of lack of submission and humility is impatience with God in His work.