By Aaron D'Anthony Brown, Crosswalk.com
The Need for Humility
By Aaron D’Anthony Brown
“When arrogance comes, disgrace follows, but with humility comes wisdom.” Proverbs 11:2
The Folly of Pride
There’s a certain man I’ve known for probably a year now, and ever since I met him, he’s been the same. Jobless. Childless. Unmotivated. And directionless. By his own account, then and now, he is a self-described “loser.” He’s in his forties, lives with his father, and off his dad’s retirement money. Every day is the same: walking his dog once or twice, watching television, smoking, drinking, and sleeping.
Hearing such a story, let alone seeing the man, naturally conjures up some pity. Unfortunately, the day I asked if getting hobbies or a job would make him feel better about himself was the day our acquaintanceship ended. He figured I was wrong for a few things: comparing myself to him, preaching to him, and disrespecting my elders. I didn’t do any of those things, but at the moment, all he could understand was his anger and contempt at the perceived offense. What he couldn’t see in himself was pride.
That’s so often the case for each of us. This particular sin manifests in ways we easily recognize in others but hardly see ourselves. We are correct when we point out pride denotes an elevated sense of self-importance. However, pride is not simply thinking of yourself as better than others. Pride includes thinking of yourself more than others.
Pride leads us to focus on ourselves in conversation and consider our problems grander than anyone else’s. Pride leads us to compare with others and covet the things we don’t have. Pride is the basis for much of our troubles, but ultimately, pride is foolish. Once we recognize the folly of pride, we discover the need for humility.
Intersecting Faith and Life:
Scripture has plenty to say about humility. This characteristic honors God, helps us grow wise and is a fruit of the spirit. That should come as no surprise. Only through humility do we recognize our need for a Savior. As Christians, humility also helps us accomplish many things, but especially the following:
Recognize Our Flaws
We claim to be fallen people living in a fallen world, but if we are fallen, we’re flawed, fallible, and sinful. There are things to work on within our character. If we aren’t working on growing, what does that say about our initial claim? Humility helps us establish a moderate opinion of ourselves, an opinion necessary to acknowledge and repent our sins. Besides being called out by others, we’ll also be able to spot some character defects on our own. This is true for the old and young alike.
Listen to Others
Hearing someone tell you about your shortcomings may not feel good, but the outcome can be very good for you and the relationship. When we’re humble, we are faster to hear someone’s opinions before dismissing them. This leads to change and a tighter rapport. We may even find ourselves seeking out feedback rather than waiting.
In addition, we spend more time listening to others than speaking in our day-to-day conversations. Humility places greater importance on others and less on self, making us more eager to hear about what’s new in their lives than to talk about our own.
Find Wisdom and Maturity
Pride suggests we are fine the way we are, but whether you’re old or young, each of us is a sinner. That means there’s room to grow, an infinite amount of room to grow. In humility, we accept this reality and work on changing, a process that shouldn’t stop until the day we die. How do we expect to become more like Christ without furthering our wisdom and maturity?
We benefit from the blessing that God is invested in our growth. He will not hold back wisdom from you or me. We simply have to seek Him out. The greater our humility, the more we invite Him to support that development. As we cultivate this fruit of the spirit, we’ll discover that blessings await, our relationships will grow, and we will be better people. We also come to realize, as author Rick Warren said, humility is not thinking less of ourselves but thinking of ourselves less. Let that idea guide you in your continued walk with Christ.
Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/jeffbergen
Aaron D'Anthony Brown is a freelance writer, hip-hop dance teacher, and visual artist, living in Virginia. He currently contributes work to iBelieve, Crosswalk, and supports various clients through the platform Upwork. He's an outside-the-box thinker with a penchant for challenging the status quo. Check out his short story “Serenity.”
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