Pride vs. Humility


Pride is an ugly sin to God. “The devil is content that people should excel in good works, provided he can make them proud of them” (William Law). “Pride is the idolatrous worship of ourselves, and that is the national religion of hell” (Alan Redpath). To be full of self is to be empty of God. Grace and humility bow the knee to a Holy God who alone can sustain and keep us free from the corrupting influence of self. The highway of holiness is a valley trail in the direction of humility. The trail will lead you on a path of death to self. If we can daily see life as tests we are going through, tests that allow us to humble ourselves, we are on the right highway. "The higher a man is in grace, the lower he will be in his own esteem" (C.H. Spurgeon). Learn to welcome the opportunity to die daily to self.

What is humility? Humility is the perfect quietness of heart. It is to expect nothing, to wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing done to me. It is to be at rest when nobody praises me, and when I am blamed or despised. It is to have a blessed home in the Lord, where I can go in and shut the door and kneel to my Father in secret, and am at peace as in a deep sea of calmness, when all around and above is trouble. The humble person is not one who thinks meanly of himself; he simply does not think of himself at all. (Andrew Murray).

William Barclay tells a great story about how we should all live as Christians:

There is a story of a monk in the old days, a very holy man who was sent to take up office as abbot in a monastery. He looked so humble a person that, when he arrived, he was assigned to work in the kitchen as a scullion, because no one recognized him. Without a word of protest and with no attempt to take his position, he went and washed the dishes and did the most menial tasks. It was only when the bishop arrived a considerable time later that the mistake was discovered and the humble monk took up his true position. The man who enters upon office for the respect that will be given him has begun in the wrong way, and cannot, unless he changes, ever be in any sense the servant of Christ and of his fellow men. [1]

If we want to maximize our effectiveness, prayer with humility is vital. God has gone to great lengths to make it possible for us to be a kingdom of priests to our God. The Temple curtain has been torn in two for us to enter into the very presence of God, offering spiritual sacrifices of prayer. The graces of humility, persistence, and perseverance will bring the power of God through us to a needy world. Keith Thomas


[1] William Barclay, Daily Study Bible, the Gospel of Mark, Published by Saint Andrew Press, Edinburgh. Page 301.