Philippians 2:3 Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.
When we’re prideful we can’t see past ourselves to meet the needs of others. We view ourselves as the highest priority and we care very little what God wants of us or what others might be feeling. But a humble spirit puts others first.
All around us are ads, people, groups, businesses and all other manner of communications telling us to put ourselves first and to basically forget about other people and what they want. You’re #1. You deserve the best. But a follower of Christ, a person after His own heart, will not be able to do this without feeling a strong urging to do the opposite. We’re called to put others first.
This can be taken to an extreme where the person seeking to put others before themselves actually neglects their own needs to their detriment. A balance has to be found though. We do have things we need and we shouldn’t forget to take care of ourselves. But by considering others more significant than ourselves, we’re just reorganizing our priorities a bit. We’re more courteous, doing things like helping out where we see a need, even when it might make us late. We’re willing to inconvenience ourselves for the sake of others. We give our time. This is humility and God honors it.
James 4:6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
We’ve all seen the downside of pride. The pain it can cause. The alienation, the disappointment. Pride can cut us off from God because the proud displace God in favor of themselves. The proud make themselves into their own god. This is why God resists them. But there is hope. There is grace.
Though God resists the proud, we find that He gives grace to the humble. This doesn’t just mean that those who continually show humility receive grace. God so freely gives His grace that even someone who recognizes their pride and turns to Him in humility can receive it. He’s so willing to pour out His grace that He extends the offer to anyone that turns from their pride.
Humility is about putting God back where He belongs and ourselves back where we belong. We’re not God and we do a good thing when we recognize that and admit it. With God in the place of Lord and us under His authority, we’re able to receive the grace He offers. Pride, however, won’t allow us to receive that gift. Step aside!
Proverbs 29:23 One’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.
Pride is one of those things in our lives that can go undetected, unchecked, and unsuspected for a long time. We may think we’re doing just fine by behaving the way we are, never even having so much as a hint that we’re being driven by our own pride. Then it happens.
It’s interesting how much easier it is to see pride in someone else’s life than it is in our own. When someone comes crashing down after they let their pride guide them in all their decisions, we have an “I saw it coming” attitude, but when it happens to us it’s always a surprise. The old illustration of boiling a frog seems appropriate here. If you put a frog in hot water, he’ll jump out, but if you put him in room temperature water and increase the heat little by little, you’ll boil him. Pride creeps into our lives in this way, not all at once, but a little bit at a time. One selfish decision leads to another and so on.
But it can’t go on forever. Everyone who is led by their pride will eventually fall and when they do it would have been better for them to bring themselves down in humility than to face the consequences of their pride. We have many chances along the way to check our pride and make sure we humbly put it aside. It’s better to do it voluntarily than to be brought low without warning. Following the example of Christ will help us in this endeavor.
Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
I know I’m not alone when I say I’ve been forgiven by God for SO many things that I have no right to withhold forgiveness from anyone who wrongs me.
Pride causes us to hold a grudge, but God calls us to be humble.
Pride demands an apology.
It takes humility to forgive an offense.
Pride refuses to admit our own wrongdoing.
Humility enables us to sincerely apologize and seek reconciliation.
If you want to demonstrate true, godly love to your kids, apologize to them when necessary. It shows them that you value them more than your ego. If you truly want to repair a relationship that’s gone wrong, show some humility.
If you want your relationships to thrive, resist pride.
Real love is powerful because it is selfless. The world’s love lacks any power because it’s all self-centered. When we put others before ourselves, we love like God loves us and it’s a game changer. Showing humility to others values them, just as God’s love for us gives us value.