The Way Up is Down | Humility

3 minutes

Growing up in a home where humility was emphasized, demonstrated, and instilled in us, thank goodness pride isn’t a stronghold we necessarily suffer from. Humility was always touted as one of the greatest virtues one should strive to possess. As I go deeper with my father in his word, I see just how much value he places on humility, the antonym of which is pride. God strongly opposes the proud at heart, despising it enough to fell the haughty in their pride. “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble”, Proverbs 3:34

As counterproductive as it may sound, it is true that the way up is down. It is our abasement that leads to our lifting; there is no room for pride in God’s kingdom. “Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all,”” Mark 9:35. God doesn’t call us to lord it over others my friends, no. We are called into the kingdom to serve king and country, to love God and neighbor. There is no room for self-aggrandizement, God will oppose all such inclinations. God will bring us down if we fail to do so ourselves. “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up”, James 4:10. This is repeated again in 1 Peter 5:6 to “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”

I don’t know if we ever fully outgrow sporadic moments of haughty pride, but we certainly mustn’t let ourselves dwell in this sullied state. Pride is a good indicator of where one’s heart is at any given time. “Pride brings a person low, but the lowly in spirit gain honor”, Proverbs 29:23. If you do not feel lowly in spirit, then an attitude adjustment is needed, and Jesus gives us the formula to do this in Matthew 11:29-30: “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Carrying pride is burdensome and taxing to the heart, for it is a burden we were never meant to carry, an emotion we are not meant to feel. This means we can exchange it at the foot of the cross, surrender the weight of pride and pick up the easy yoke of a gentle and humble heart. 

The book of Proverbs beseeches us to seek for wisdom as one searches for much gold. One who is wise will rarely exercise the vice of pride, for humility comes from wisdom. “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom”, James 3:13. Such a humble disposition will lead us to honor, for Adonai lifts up the humble at heart. “Wisdom’s instruction is to fear the Lord, and humility comes before honor”, Proverbs 15:33.  Remember my father often drumming it into our heads that pride comes before a fall. “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall,” Proverbs 16:18. When a heart is seared with pride, chest-thumping, a fall is usually imminent. “Before a downfall the heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor”, Proverbs 18:12

A prideful person will not give the glory to God but will instead claim it for themselves. God instructs us so we might avoid such sin; only a humble heart will submit to godly teaching on the way to go. Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways. He guides the humble in what is right  and teaches them his way. Psalm 25:8-9. To preserve his glory which he refuses to share with anyone, “God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him”,1 Corinthians 1:28-29. Ours is to heed his discipline and walk humbly upright before him all the days of our life. “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God”, Micah 6:8.

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2 Comments

  1. Mark
    October 16, 2021 / 5:54 PM

    Thank you for this important reminder. It is so easy to be boastful!

    • Helena Grey | Loving Lair
      Author
      October 16, 2021 / 6:14 PM

      Right? Frequent heart checks are necessary because pride is a costly vice and it can creep up on us unsuspectingly if we’re not paying attention. Thank you for reading and commenting!!

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