Lately, I’ve been asking God to help me stay humble. I realized how easy it is to get puffed up, even about the smallest things. Not only that, but I found myself having obviously prideful moments, which felt embarrassing to even admit to myself.
Apart from our human nature to revel in pride, I believe God truly gave us a new nature when He made us alive in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). It’s just a matter of learning the ways of that new nature and getting trained up in it.
When you believe in Jesus, everything about you starts to change. The more you learn about Him, the more you reflect Him. And even though we still have shortcomings and sins, we need to rely on the Holy Spirit to reveal these things to convict our hearts so that we can remain in continual repentance and constant transformation.
Recently I had a moment where I got challenged to stay humble. I guess that’s what I get for asking. It was a small thing, but I learned a big lesson. After several days of asking God to keep me humble, I felt like I was actually getting to a place of “consistent humility.”
But what happened was as I was leaving for work, my husband handed me a mug of coffee. It wasn’t in a to go mug, but just a regular house mug. And as I walked out the door, he said, “don’t spill the coffee on yourself.” I thought little of it, but by the time I got to work and parked, I thought to myself, wow look at me, I didn’t spill my coffee, I can’t wait to tell Ruvim about this. And as I got out of the car, I ended up spilling the coffee all over my hand and stained a small part of my sleeve. Instantly I thought, stay humble, right?
Like I said, it was a minor moment, but it really taught me a bigger lesson than I expected. I even took a picture of my hand and sleeve to keep as a reminder. It’s always in the smallest situations where the lessons can be the greatest.
As I continue to ask God for situations to keep me humble, I want to embrace the nature of humility that Christ portrayed throughout his life. That no matter what situation I come across or what I do and say, that I can always have the posture and the response of humility.
It’s truly a good reminder to have in the pockets of our minds. You can stay on guard, reflect internally, and pursue righteousness in God with it. It’s kind of like an inward check within your spirit, not based on religiosity or legalism, but based on the foundational truth of the Gospel. It’s out of love and willingness to grow, to please God, and to remain in His will, instead of remaining in sins, such as pride.
2 Timothy 2:22 says to flee also youthful passions and pursue righteousness, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.
One of the youthful passions is pride, which I’m sure all of us can bear witness to. We’ve all dealt or are dealing with pride to some extent, and to take the practicality of fleeing from pride and pursuing humility is totally doable. I like how David Guzik wrote in the Enduring Word Commentary. He said, if you cannot flee also youthful lusts, there is a real limit to how much God can use you, a limit to how useful to the Master you will be. You can’t really say “yes” to God until you can say “no” to some other things.
And a big part of being in a relationship with God is saying no to the things of this world. If we can’t say no to pride, how can we ever say yes to humility? If we can’t say no to the world, how can we fully say yes to God?
Truthfully, it’s an ongoing process that we must accept to experience constant transformation. If we can get in the habit of saying yes to humility and no to our pride more often, how much more will we be able to recognize God’s goodness in our lives?
Pride blinds us to the things of God. It keeps us in a place of shame and selfishness, which is ironic, because it tries to appear as confidence or honor.
Proverbs 11:2 says that when pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom. There’s wisdom because God leads the humble in what is right and teaches the humble His way (Psalm 25:9). God’s wisdom is much higher and better than worldly wisdom. But just like a child can get stubborn about not getting their way, so are we when we refuse humility by remaining in our pride.
Humility isn’t about being a doormat, or passive, or having low self-esteem. On the contrary, it’s understanding who you are in Christ, accepting your new nature in Him and the qualities that you already have, as well as your limitations and shortcomings. But instead of feeling threatened by those, you’re motivated to learn, receive wisdom, and let God help you in those areas.
Instead of setting yourself up for feelings of shame and disgrace, set yourself up to reflect Christ more and more, with each passing day, by choosing humility.