Pride the Bigot
Why does humility so easily elude us? Is it because no matter how much we desire humility it’s impossible to achieve by our own strength? No matter how much we deny self, self always rises back up again in conquering victory. It seems to me that even when I feel as if I’ve conquered pride and have finally allowed humility its proper place in my life, I become proud of how humble I am! Even the times I write or speak about humility, trying my hardest to help others out of the dangers of pride, I find myself repenting deeply. After the writing was done or the sermon was over God exposes the root of pride in my own heart. There it was, written between the lines, hidden within the words of the sermon, attacking, accusing, beating down those I thought I was helping to overcome pride.
I notice groups of people everywhere trying their hardest to live a life of humility; so much so, that they have gone to great lengths to separate themselves from the rest of us. But all I see is more pride. I even find myself working so hard to live the Christian life of separation, only to fall deeper into the deadly trap of pride. The trap so easily concealed under the comparison of myself to those around me. I begin feeling like I’ve reached the mark of true holiness only due to the fact that I’ve become more separate from the sins of this world than my fellow Christian. Oh the foolishness and folly of such comparisons that I make! The holiness I give to God must spring from my very own desire to please Him, not to be better than my brother or sister.
“For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” (2 Corinthians 10:12 KJV)
Could it be that the only way to truly preach against pride is to live humility out-loud? And could it be that the only way to live it out-loud is to have love for those who have given up the fight or have never really known how to fight in the first place? Or to continue to lift up those around us that are also fighting the fight of faith? Paul said this, “We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NLT)
Moses, the man of Humility
I’m reminded of Moses, the man of whom the Bible had this to say; “Now Moses was very humble—more humble than any other person on earth.” (Numbers 12:3 NLT). It was during a very trying time of Moses’ leadership that the Bible makes that statement. His very own brother (Aaron) and sister (Miriam) no longer believed in his leadership and in rebellion spoke out against him. God was angry with them and cursed Miriam with leprosy. But Moses, being humble, prayed for her and begged God to heal her.
Time and again Moses prayed for those who angered God by speaking out against the two of them, and thereby bring trouble and even death upon themselves. It was his prayers for those who didn’t understand how to fight, even when they hurt him that earned him,Moses, the title, “the most humble man on earth”.
“Therefore I do not run without definite aim. I do not box like one beating the air and striking without an adversary. But like a boxer, I buffet my body, I handle it roughly, discipline it by hardships and subdue it, for fear that after proclaiming to others the Gospel and things pertaining to it, I myself should become a castaway.” (1 Corinthians 9:26-27)