Humility: The Solution to a Real Problem

Why Are We Not Humble?

Our pride, which is really the root of all of our sin, goes all the way back to Genesis 3 when Adam sinned against God in the Garden of Eden.  God made it very clear, and very simple, when the Lord God said, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die” (Genesis 2:16-17).  While Eve was deceived, Adam did it willingly (1 Timothy 2:14) – it was a conscious choice to do what he did.  In short, Adam was proud.  He (similar to another created being named Lucifer, otherwise known as Satan and the Devil), did not want to submit to God’s authority, and therefore chose to rebel and revealed the pride in his heart!  Who was Adam thinking about when he made that choice?  Who became the most important person in Adam’s heart? Who was going to make the ‘final call’ on the boundaries that were established in the Garden?  The answer to all these questions is, Adam!  He was thinking selfishly, and his heart was full of pride.  In Romans 5:12, Paul wrote “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned.”  So, Why are we not humble? It’s because of the effects of the curse of sin on all of our lives.  The short answer to this question is: Pride – and notice what is the center of the word P-R-I-D-E.

Why Is Humility So Hard?

We are all proud in various degrees, and each of us struggle with pride in various areas of our lives because we are selfish in so many ways even if we are growing in our walk with the Lord.  Some people really struggle with submission to authority, especially if they think the authority is wrong.  And even if the authority is wrong, some respond in pride and are quick to point out that authority’s imperfections and look for ways to make themselves look good or assume the best about what they would have done compared to what their authority did.  This often leads to comparing ourselves among ourselves, which Paul wrote, “….this is not wise”  (2 Cor. 10:12).  While we have been set free from the law of sin and death, we still have to face the effects of the curse of sin on our lives.  Nobody is perfect, and we all need to keep “growing in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).  Humility is so hard because our pride is so strong.  We want to be first – we want the attention – we think we are right – we think we are more important than others – we want everybody to do what we want them to do – we should be served instead of serving others.  The bottom line is, we have to ‘put off’ that selfishness and the “what can I get out of this” attitude, and replace our pride with humility.

How Do You Get to Be Humble?

Even Paul struggled with this war between pride and humility raging inside of himself when he wrote “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin” (Romans 7:18-25).

The first step in solving a problem is to realize you have a problem.  After ‘denying yourself’ (which means to have a total disregard for one’s self) and putting off the pride, there are 3 areas you concentrate on that will help you to be humble:

Think about Christ: He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even death on the cross. He models perfect humility! If we are going to change from pride to humility, we have to think like Christ if we’re going to act like Christ.

Think about the Cross:  Think about the blood shed for the very sin you are committing. When tempted to get proud, go to the foot of the cross and imagine the blood of Jesus dripping on your face.  Consider the suffering through which He is going to buy you back from the slave market of sin and set you free from the law of sin and death and to give you eternal life!

Think about the Consequences: Peter’s words should motivate all of us to ‘put off’ our pride and “. . . clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time” (1 Peter 5:5-6).