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Humility is Other Centered / Pride is Self Centered

Humility is Other Centered / Pride is Self Centered

Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 12:10

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Every day my pride and ego relentlessly seek to smother whatever breath of humility is in my heart. Once the virtue is vanquished, my ego continues its conquest with Napoleon like occupation of my entire being. I feel immobilized, frustrated, imprisoned. Pride’s symptoms begin to expose my sickly soul: reactive anger because I didn’t get my way, harsh words from projecting my hurt on someone who represents the person who has hurt me, or a smug sense of superiority, since I am surely more spiritual and more successful than most. Oh, how ugly, sad and selfish my pride and ego must seem to my humble Savior and servant Jesus.

The acronym for EGO is Edging God Out—so true, as pride acts like is does not need God—while humility is keenly aware of its desperate need for divine intervention. Pride has everything all figured out, nicely categorized into perfected preferences (treated as convictions)—while humility remains a learner, always looking for ways to flush out tired lies and aged deceptions, once held with seemingly sacred devotion, but now replaced by truth’s timeless liberation. Pride takes—humility gives. Pride judges—humility offers mercy. Pride reacts—humility responds. Pride is demanding—humility defers. Pride comes from the devil—humility comes from Christ.

Humility may require joyful endurance. “For the joy set before him [Jesus] he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).

Pride is like a slick, overly aggressive salesperson: persuading, berating and guilting me into buying something: I don’t need, I can’t afford and I later regret purchasing. How totally opposite to the satisfaction of humility, which is an invitation—prayerfully penned in faith-felt calligraphy by Christ—summoning my presence into His presence for a banquet of blessings, a sense of hope and a relationship of peace all stuffed into an envelope of His eternal pleasure—not to mention the grace and love that humility offers to facilitate and deepen our relationships with people. One coerces our will to be unlike Christ, the other immerses our will into Christlikeness.

Gratefully, humility is the gateway to grace: for God gives grace to the humble, but He resists the proud (James 4:6). Since we are to live the Christian life the same way we became a Christian—by grace through faith—it’s imperative we humbly and daily infuse our souls with God’s grace. If we think we are humble we are not, but we can rest knowing humble Jesus lives in us, with us and through us. Humility happily defers in love, “How can I honor you above myself?” I learn to walk in humility by doing what’s best for the whole, not what’s best for me!

Sometimes humility is sorrowful submission. “He [Jesus] fell with his face to the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will’” (Matthew 26:39). The One who emptied Himself, became a servant to all (Philippians 2:7).

Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me a humble heart who looks out for the interests of others.

Application: Who do I need to defer to in joyful willingness with my 100% support?

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