Vine’s Expository Dictionary defines humble as “low-lying” and humility as “lowliness of mind.”
When scriptures speak of humility, they are referring to one who not only acts as a servant, but also thinks like a servant.
Some mainstream schools of psychology argue that a majority of our problems come about because we have poor self-esteem. In other words, we think too lowly of ourselves, and as a result we have trouble communicating or even completing necessary tasks.
But scripture says, “Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall. Better to live humbly with the poor than to share plunder with the proud. Those who listen to instruction will prosper; those who trust the Lord will be joyful” (Proverbs 16:18-20).
I am going to disagree with psychology and side with the scriptures: a majority of our sin comes about because we view ourselves too highly.
Many of our actions, desires, and words are self-exalting. Take gluttony for example. The over eating of food is only concerned about self-pleasure. Maybe the food comforts the person. Perhaps he just loves the taste and can’t get enough of it. Either way, the sinful eating of food is concerned neither about God nor about serving others, and is completely self-absorbed.
Or lust for instance. Lust is self-exalting because, again, it is only concerned about self-pleasure. When a person lustfully desires another, she is concerned about her pleasure only and abandons the command to love the LORD with all of her heart and to put the needs of others above her own.
Shannon has said it several times while preaching; our sins result from pride. We do what we do because we want what we want, and we want what we want because we have been deceived. We think this life is about us. We think food is about us, we think sex is about us, we think money is about us, and so on. If we look deeper, we will see that this is a worship problem. When I am being prideful, I am essentially worshipping myself. If you’ve been at Southern Hills, you know we are passionate about the heart. Pride is a heart issue. Any pleasure we seek for ourselves outside of Christ is pride.
So, how can we remain humble and fight pride?
- Pray. Pray for strength.We cannot fight pride without Him. Pray for eyes to see our sin. Pray that God would awaken us so that we desire Him more.
- Submit to God and study His word. This will lead to a greater understanding of God and thus a bigger view of God and a lower view of ourselves.
- Always seek to serve the Lord by serving others.
- Acknowledge your sin before God and confess to others. Seek forgiveness.
Pride, thinking too highly of myself, comes so naturally to me. To fight this sin, I have tried to incorporate these four things into my daily life, specifically studying scriptures relating to pride and humility. I would love to walk this out with others who face the same struggle. If you would like to talk more about humility or pride, please feel free to contact me.