As a follower of Christ, I know that humility is a desirable trait, while pride is to be avoided. Pride is just so . . . natural! Pride is too often my default, sometimes it can be wrapped in fear, sometimes in insecurity, but always it hesitates to step out of the safety of a guaranteed “win”. . . whatever that means. In contrast, humility can seem weak, subservient, and outdated in today’s world of self-promotion. How can I be humble and still promote a thought or business idea? How can I be humble and not get run over by everyone else? How can I be humble and believe anything with conviction? Isn’t humility supposed to submit to others? If I stand up for myself and my beliefs, am I being proud?
This morning several of my devotionals mentioned pride and humility, and afterwards I was thinking about pride in my own life. That is when the thought that humility overcomes pride flashed through my mind. I began wondering how humility could win against pride. Pride is so forceful and overbearing, whereas humility is, well, humble. Humility is meek, quiet, and tolerant. Then I realized that humility can win because humility is also thoughtful, wise, understanding, clear-thinking, and emotionally stable. Where pride is out of control and over-the-top in what it does as it tries to get the world’s attention, humility considers others and seeks solutions that are not self-centered. Humility doesn’t allow self-interest and emotional manipulation to overrule it’s senses. Humility is a shield against biased thinking, fear, greed, and all the false promises of this world. Humility can step back and look at the big picture by taking oneself out of the equation and allowing for an impartial and honest look at a given situation.
I’ve never really thought of humility in this way, I’ve often thought of it as self-deprecating, but that’s not it at all. For that would not be seeing things clearly. Humility isn’t undervaluing yourself but evaluating yourself, others, and situations accurately. This is impossible for pride to accomplish. For pride always seeks to promote itself above all else, to make self appear better than others, and is narrowly focused on what is best for itself regardless of how others are impacted.
Humility can be bold, decisive, and courageous because it has clearly evaluated and considered what is best from different perspectives. And when humility takes a stand, pride doesn’t stand a chance. Pride will rant and rave; it will yell and scream and make a scene. But humility will remain calm and keep moving forward because humility is steadfast and determined. Think of the trial of Jesus. He was so humble, so brave, so determined to follow His Father’s plan that He pushed himself beyond His human will and endured a torture I can’t imagine. He could have stopped it at any time. He could have called a legion of angels to wipe out everyone who was attacking Him. But He chose to submit to God’s plan for our redemption. The proud thought they had won that day, but God’s plan ultimately prevailed. The humble Lamb of God would rise on the third day and shatter death’s hold. Pride had no chance again humility submitted to God’s will.
Perhaps this is applicable to your life today; I’m sure it is to mine. With all the information available at our fingertips, we need to practice humility as we decide what we believe, how we behave, and who we trust to tell us the truth. No human being is infallible, so it is vital to our spiritual, mental, and emotional growth that we filter all that we hear through the Holy Spirit and let Him lead us to the truth. We need to set our pride aside and let God lead us to His truth, His will, and His path for our lives. Pride cannot give up this kind of control, pride cannot submit, but humility can. And in humble submission to God, we will find peace, comfort, courage, and wisdom for each day.
May God spark hope and light in your life,