Thursday, January 6, 2011

a slice of humble pie.

"Don't imagine that if you meet a really humble man he will be what most people call 'humble' nowadays: he won't be a sort of greasy, smarmy person, who's always telling you that, of course, he's nobody. Probably all you'll think about him is that he seemed a cheerful, intelligent chap who took a real interest in what you said to him. If you do dislike him, it will be because you feel a bit envious of anyone who seems to enjoy life so easily. He won't be thinking about himself at all. There I must stop. If anyone would like to acquire humility, I can, I think, tell him the first step. The first step is to realize that one is proud. And a biggish step, too. At least, nothing whatever can be done before it. If you think you're not conceited, it means you are very conceited indeed."
-C.S. Lewis

"The meek man is not a human mouse afflicted with a sense of his own inferiority. He has accepted God's estimate of his own life: In himself, nothing; In God, everything. He knows well that the world will never see him as God sees him and he has stopped caring."
-A.W. Tozer

"We'd like to be humble...but what if no one notices?"
-John Ortberg

"Humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less."
-C.S. Lewis

"Nothing disciplines the inordinate desires of the flesh like service, and nothing transforms the desires of the flesh like serving in hiddenness. The flesh whines against service but it screams against hidden service. It strains and pulls for honor and recognition."
-Richard Foster

"Whatever makes us feel superior to other people, whatever tempts us to convey a sense of superiority, that is the gravity of our sinful nature, not grace."
-Phillip Yancey

Actually, forget the slice, just go ahead and give me the whole pie. Pride has been on my mind a LOT over the past 6 months or so and it is actually a topic we're discussing in my community group. The more we discuss, the more I'm painfully aware of my affliction of pride.

The quotes above really hit the nail on the head and serve as a great reminder of what humility looks like. I especially like the specific line: it's not "thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less." Those who are humble don't walk around with their head down, telling others how they are so inferior to everyone else. They simply don't speak of themselves at all.

Have you ever met a truly humble person? They listen to your every word, ask insightful questions, desire to know you, don't interrupt (that's coming from the queen of interruptions - yikes). It is positively refreshing and downright irresistible...probably one of the most attractive qualities.

So what's the prescription to treat a prideful heart? Hmmm...great question. Our book suggests serving others and I concur (in my ever so humble opinion - ha ha) that it's a great start. Why not look to the perfect example, Jesus Christ, as our instructor on living a humble life? Yes, as depraved humans, we will never be "like Christ," but if we are "followers of Christ," then we should follow His example. He came not to be served, but to serve and He humbled Himself (being the supreme and divine Creator of the universe) in a way we cannot even comprehend.

1 comment:

Terry said...

The cure to pride is not trying to be humble, or not even trying to "be like Jesus" because you can't be like Jesus in your own strength, because you are a sinner. The cure to pridefulness is the gospel. The grace of God shown in death of Christ for you is the cure to pride. Why you say? It is in the gospel that pride is destroyed, because the gospel of grace tells you "you can't do it, you never will be able to do it, but someone did it all for you" that someone is Jesus. The cure isn't go out and look at Jesus as your model and be humble, in secret or in public or whatever (because pride will infect that too) but let the gospel produce in you gospel humility. You're a sinner, Christ died for you while you were still a sinner, resting in that, realizing that, letting that get deep into your heart is the cure, the antidote even, for pridefulness. "For our sake He (God) made Him (Christ) to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him (Christ) we might become the righteousness of God."