Being Humble Explained

When pride comes, then comes disgrace; but wisdom is with the humble. Proverbs 11:2

I have a friend who always brings up pride as the sin that lies at the foundation of most other sins. Perhaps he has become aware of himself and repented of past pride that almost proved his undoing.

Think about it a little. When are the times when pride has gotten between you and God? When pride has injured a friend or family member? When pride has stopped you from learning something new?

According to this proverb, humble is the trait juxtaposed to pride.

Humble is often misrepresented by those who think they do not want to lead a self-disciplined life. Or by those “social Darwinists” who believe in “survival of the fittest” and power is a virtue. They have led generations to believe that humble means weak.

But it is actually the opposite. Pride evolves from weakness. It is usually a compensation for the perceived lack of power or strength of the person. How many are they, who puff up with pride only to be deflated later. It’s only the true narcissists who continue in pride oblivious to the wreckage of the people around them.

It takes strength to be humble. One must be strong to put others ahead yet retain the strong spiritual core of a relationship with God. It takes someone strong in spiritual discipline who practices daily the spiritual disciplines of study, prayer, meditation, service, simplicity.

The other strength comes from putting aside the pride of believing that they know everything and acknowledge gaps in knowledge that can be filled through study or through the guidance of a mentor.

To be humble just means to put others ahead of yourself. It is a willingness to learn and grow every day.

I read this saying of a Desert Father that I wholly agree with, “I’d rather have a man who has sinned and repented than a man who has not sinned and thinks he is righteous.”

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