Thursday, November 6, 2014


 I miss this place. I need a zone that is bummer-free.
 I'll open all the windows. Then I'll sweep, dust and fix the screen door.
Once the place is ship-shape again, I'll invite everybody over. Please, come.


Several years ago God began speaking to me about the problem of pride in my heart.
How I came to that point is too long a story to recount here, but suffice it to say that God used some circumstances and relationships in my life, as well as some good Bible teaching from my pastor at the time, to begin opening my eyes to the problem of pride in my life. I was cut to the heart and resolved to do something about my pride problem. Anyone who has ever made greater humility the petition of their prayers and the aim of their Christian pursuits knows that it is a very slippery thing to acquire and an even more difficult thing to measure.  Any “achievement” in humility instantly becomes the basis for pride, and round and round we go. It's a vicious cycle. Perversely, the pursuit of humility often gives birth to new depths of pride.
Humility is a funny thing. It seems that the harder you try to focus on it the fuzzier it becomes. The harder you try to lay hold of the more it slips like water through your fingers. I have been surprised at times by humility when it has shown up in my heart unannounced. At such times I have found surprising words suddenly spilling from my lips like I was returning a borrowed thing. However, when I seek out humility it always seems elusive and just beyond reach.
Recently, I was listening to a radio preacher speak on the topic of pride and humility and he made the claim that as a result of God’s sanctifying work in His life he could now look back on his younger self and see how he had become more humble over time. At the time, that was a very discouraging thing for me to hear. After all, I had been sincerely praying for God to grant me more humility for the past ten years, and I had done everything I could think to do within the scope of human power to foster greater humility. I had memorized scriptures on the topic and sought to behave in ways that outwardly demonstrated humility even as I remained suspicious of the purity of my inner motives. However, as I reflected over the past ten years I did not feel less prideful than I was when I began this journey, but only more aware of the depths of my pride.
Those thoughts led me to the following questions, which are not convictions masquerading as questions. These are honest questions. How would you answer? 

Three Questions on the Topic of Humility:
1. As a Christian grows in humility, will increased humility in his/her life be marked by a corresponding decrease in prideful inclination or rather an increased awareness of one’s prideful inclinations?

…or to put the question another way…

It has been observed that courage is not absence of fear but rather the mastery of it. In much the same way, can it be said that humility is not the absence of pride, but rather the capacity to recognize and reject it?

2. Are these good working definitions for humility and pride?

Humility- Recognition of who God is and who man is in relationship to Him.

Pride- A desire for the place of God.

3. Is pride roughly synonymous with our sin nature?