Has it happened to you that you thought you were really good at something only to realize a little while later that you’ve failed in the same thing that you were so good at? Every time I conclude that I am good at something or that I have achieved a particular level of perfection or consistency at something, within some time from then, the whole thing goes for a toss.
I figured this realization that I am perfect/good/excellent arises out of deep rooted pride and self oriented desires, claims and ambitions. I had always thought I could never fall prey to pride. I had tried my best to protect my heart from pride, and just when I thought I could never fall in this one area, I discovered this new form of self glorifying spiritual pride.
To tell you the truth, I haven’t completely overcome this struggle in my heart against this kind of pride. But here are a few scriptures that minister to me in times like these. And I hope these will be an encouragement for you as well.
1. Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. (Proverbs 11:2)
Pride is a state of heart. It tells you that you are all sufficient and you have no need to depend on the strength or the grace that God desires to offer you. That is the most unwise thing to do. Our minds tend to think and make foolish statements when caught up in the blanket of pride, thus bringing disgrace upon us. The easiest way to become wise is to remain humble.
2. If you want to boast, boast only about the LORD. (2 Corinthians 10:17)
We all have the innate tendency to boast, which is a derivative of the God given desire in our hearts to worship. While many give in and begin to boast about themselves, their ministry/career, or their achievements and accomplishments, the bible teaches that we should boast only about the Lord. We should be continually boasting about what God has done and continues to do. I realized this in my personal life that I fall prey to pride whenever I stray away from a lifestyle of worship. The more you worship, the more humble will you remain.
3. So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
We all have weaknesses, right? Likewise do we have any strengths? The more I ponder about myself, the more I realize I have no strengths at all. God is the only strength I possess. All the rest are the weak areas of my life. Hence it is alright to talk about myself or my ministry, as long as it glorifies the power of Christ that is at work through my weaknesses. The more I boast in my weaknesses, the more do I confess my poverty of spirit, and “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3)
4. And let your humility be known to every person; our Lord is near. (Philippians 4:5)
I always used to believe that humility is a state of heart alone, not really something that we can exhibit externally. But the bible says our humility should be known, seen and experienced by every person we come across. I used to always get away believing that I am still humble in my heart, till I was convicted, more than ever before, of the way I would react and respond to the people honking behind my car in heavy traffic.
Whatever is inside us should obviously begin to manifest externally as well.
5. Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves (Philippians 2:3)
– Avoid selfishness. That could be self pity or self exaltation, both are selfish and hence sinful.
– Any consequent desire to impress others or gain the sympathy of others is also equally sinful.
– And the best way to overcome such desires is by thinking, considering, upholding others as better than ourselves. Many do that in their words and speeches, but few do that even in their thoughts.
And that, my dear friends, is the road map to true humility.
It is indeed a challenging journey to die to self, and to be humble in all aspects of life, but the Lord promises us the presence & power of His Spirit, and the fruit of the Spirit is Gentleness, Humility, Meekness. As we let the Holy Spirit control our lives, every iota of pride will be consumed away. Would you like to share another verse or thought that has helped you in your journey to remaining humble? Please use the comment below.
Moses was the most humble person on Earth. (Numbers 12:3). Watch the following sermon by Pastor Priji at Bangalore Revival Center on Emulating the lifestyle of Christ.