“The way to the throne room is through the servants’ quarters.” -Anonymous.
Being humble is not a once-in-a-while thing. As you need to breathe in oxygen continuously to survive, so also you need to be humble and stay humble so as to get to your rightful place in life. And as Saint Teresa of Avila commented, “Humility must always be doing its work like a bee making its honey in the hive: without humility all will be lost.”
Pride shouldn’t be found in the life of any one who is sincerely born again. It amazes me how people easily show traits of arrogance in their dealings with their fellow human beings. It simply shows they don’t have a relationship with the Almighty.
The book of Ezekiel Chapter 28 renders the account of the origin of pride.
“Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.” (12-17)
From the above passage, you’ll realize that the devil, then known as Lucifer (son of the morning), lost his place because of pride. His heart was not right with God. He planned to overthrow God but was met with defeat. While he conceived the evil thought in his heart, he was exposed—for God knows the heart of every creature of His. (Isaiah 14:13)
Beloved, any time you exhibit pride, you put yourself in the black book of God. The reason why pride will take a man to heights unimaginable is to make him crash-land. Just like Humpty-Dumpty, in the old nursery poem, great will be the fall of that person. God Himself personally fights a proud man. James 4:6 confirms this: “But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’” (NKJV)
What kind of leader are you? “A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say, ‘we did it ourselves'”- Lao Tzu. Are you a boss or a servant-leader? Do you inspire fear or generate enthusiasm? True leadership is service. Show me a humble leader and I will show you a man with lasting influence.
When you find it difficult to acknowledge your wrongdoings and also not willing to say you are sorry, then watch it—pride may just be your next door neighbour. “If you hear that someone is speaking ill of you, instead of trying to defend yourself you should say: ‘He obviously does not know me very well, since there are so many other faults he could have mentioned.’” (Epictetus)
In trying to be humble, don’t think you can do it by your own power. Consider the word of Bonamy Dobree, “It is difficult to be humble. Even if you aim at humility, there is no guarantee that when you have attained the state you will not be proud of the feat.” This is particularly true concerning those who think they can be humble outside of Christ. Humility without the help of the Holy Spirit will ultimately lead to frustration. So learn to depend absolutely on the help of the Holy Spirit.
True humility starts with Jesus Christ. He should be our model. He demonstrated this quality while on earth, for example, by washing the feet of His disciples. He is an epitome of a servant-leader. Little wonder Apostle Paul, while exhorting the Philippian church advised:
If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,
Fulfil my joy, that ye be like minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name:
That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of
God the Father. (Philippians 2:1-11)
In rounding off this article, I would like to present this hymn by Isaac Watts, English theologian and hymn writer:
When I survey the wondrous Cross,
On which the Prince of Glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss
And pour contempt on all my pride.
Friend, the way up is the way down.