By Jill Briscoe
Pride always has to take the credit for a job well done, a victory achieved, a soul saved, a Christian helped. Pride always has to take the credit and never the blame. If something goes wrong, it is always someone else’s fault. Pride would rather choke than say, “I’m sorry.” Yet, we can achieve so much more as long as we don’t have to take the credit!
So how can we deal with our tendency toward pride and arrogance? How can we learn to let agape love rule our service and relationships in the church? How do we learn the art of humility?
1. Spend Lots of Time in Worship
Isaiah looked through the doorway of heaven one day and saw the Lord high and lifted up, sitting on a throne. “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of Hosts” (Isa. 6:5). The best way for us to stop saying, “Wow is me!” is to spend lots of time seeing the Lord who is high and holy. Then we will find ourselves saying, “Woe is me.”
I was intrigued to hear Isaiah talk about his lips as his being “unclean.” To me, he is the golden-lipped prophet! Yet as he worshipped, he felt dirty and in need of cleansing.
Spend time with God. See the Lord high and lifted up, glorious and holy. If that doesn’t cure your pride, nothing will!
2. Listen to Yourself, Look at Yourself
Listen to yourself talk, and then stop talking when it’s all about you. Ask lots of questions about other people. Stop talking about your kids and ask about theirs. If there are single people in the group, remember that they have a family too! Ask them to share their photos.
Use the Bible as a mirror of your soul. James says, “For if you just listen and don’t obey, it is like looking at your face in a mirror but doing nothing to improve your appearance. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like” (James 1:23-24). Look into God’s Word and see yourself clearly. See the blemishes, but don’t walk away and forget. Try to improve things you see in “the mirror.”
If we can allow God to show us our pride and arrogance, our rudeness and selfishness, and ask Him to change us into His image, then the mirror will have done its good work in our hearts. So listen to yourself and look at yourself! Then fix the blemishes you notice!
3. Humble Yourself
If we don’t humble ourselves, then God will humble us! So dare to invite God to keep you humble - to help you learn humility. Now let me tell you, this is an exceedingly dangerous prayer to pray! I have learned from experience what it’s like to have God humble me—and it’s not always a pretty picture! Yet I still dare to ask God to do what it takes to keep my head the size it should be, and He still delights to oblige. The Bible says, “Humble yourselves under the mighty power of God” (1 Peter 5:6), and I would add, “You had better do it, or God will do it for you!”
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