For those of you who made it past the title congratulations and welcome.
When reading the Bible, I recognized I’m always casting myself as the Hero or the Protagonist. Do you do this?
Why am I David and not Goliath?
Why am I Esther and not Haman?
Why am I Daniel or the three Hebrew Boys and not Nebuchadnezzar?
Why am I Jesus with the whip and not the person whose table gets flipped over?
I’m learning a great exercise in humility is seeing myself exclusively as the villain…the one with the evil, prideful heart. One reason this exercise proves to be so effective is that it’s true…
…AND it keeps me coming back to Calvary.
I have been thinking about humility a lot lately. Mainly because it seems to be in such short supply in our culture.
I don’t think anyone would disagree. But if they did they would do it proudly and boastfully in a six-Tweet thread or an eight-paragraph status on Facebook.
When we talk about humility we typically collectively shake our heads saying:
“…it’s a shame there isn’t more humility.”
I don’t think we treat it with the severity that it deserves. I know I often don’t. In fact, In the past I’ve said of a Christian leader (in my heart, not out loud):
‘…so he’s a little arrogant. It’s not like he committed adultery or something.’
When I’m repenting of my own heinous pride, I tell God “sorry”…followed by a detailed list of why the other person is still the one in the wrong.
Yet everywhere in scripture pride is deadly. I think it’s effects are best put in the book of James:
“…God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” (James 4:6)
That’s serious, right? When we lack humility God is actively resisting us.
Here are some of the definitions for ‘resisteth’:
- To rage in battle against
- To oppose
- To oppose one’s self
Without humility, we are left without grace. Graceless. That pretty much sums up our current society, right?
And before you lift yourself up to point your righteous finger at the other side, you and I, my friends, ARE society. We are the prideful ones and this scripture in James says the repercussions of that could not be any grimmer:
God wages battle against us.
And not only that, we begin to even oppose ourselves. That may sound weird, but anyone who has ever been caught up in addiction knows exactly what that means. Pride will make you do things that ultimately end in your own demise.
So maybe our hearts aren’t as good as we think they are.
This is not an exercise in low self-esteem. Quite the contrary. This is a much needed inventory to keep our hearts from being “hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” (Hebrews 3:13) And make no mistake about it: pride is sin.
So maybe you’re not Elijah calling down fire on the wicked prophets. Maybe you’re Jezebel, the Queen with the bad attitude who will do absolutely anything to get her way. And maybe that unyielding, prideful attitude drives everyone you love into a cave of fear. Are you willing to entertain that?
Allow me to remind you (and myself) again, that this is not about beating yourself up. Why? JESUS!
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (I John 1:9)
Because of Jesus, I can take this prideful heart and all its inclinations to Him. And He’s faithful and just to forgive me. That’s it. Humbly take it to Him and receive the gift of grace and forgiveness that he freely offers.
I love that.
So how can you tell if you’re a humble person? It’s weird, right? If someone asks if you’re humble and you say “yes,” then you’ve almost immediately contradicted your proclamation.
The way I’ve learned to identify humility in my own life is simply: grace. Makes sense, right? If God gives ‘more grace’ to the humble, humble people would always have ‘more grace’ to extend to others.
The most gracious people I know are the most humble people I know. They’re quickly willing to grant grace and mercy to others because they’re intimately acquainted with the grace and mercy they receive from Christ daily. As opposed to:
A Haman harboring grievances and offenses and plotting sweeping revenge.
An older son working for his father but still boiling with bitterness and envy.
A murderous King Saul lashing out at everyone because of his own disobedience.
In all honesty, I’ve been all three of those ‘villains’ and more. But…
“…God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:4-6)
I’m so grateful for God’s love. Living and basking in that love alone should humble me and if it doesn’t, I’ve learned I probably need to bask a little more.
May the breadth, length, depth, and height of His love continue to humble our prideful hearts and send us back to Calvary…every single day.
Morning Show Host, STAR 93.3
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Wow. That is so good and so helpful to think on. I often think I am more humble than I really am. And then I see it- pride. In every avenue of envy or discontent, pride is behind it. Thank you, Sheri for your words. The Lord really has given you a gift in writing!
Thank you, Gretchen! I totally agree with you. Pride is so insidious. Sometimes it creeps up so quickly in me I didn’t even see it coming. Thank God for His grace!!!
Being humble is not hiding our greatness; it’s being open about our weakness.
So true, Ron. It’s a delicate balance that, honestly, I’m unable to maintain without God’s grace.
I battle pride daily, praise Jesus for the grace of salvation through him. I need it.
This is well written! Every single time I get grumpy or angry about something, i catch myself thinking it all stems from pride! “I would never say that” or “Who does she think she is”?? Even a laughing emoji is one of the most sarcastic emoji there is… that emoji can be a true laugh, but sometimes it should be wearing little red horns… i confess to using it this way. Anger can be pride and I must confess it💔💔
So well said Sherri! I needed to hear this today!
Wow! I think, there are so many that need to read this and then then God convicts me and says, read it again yourself.