We are not, by nature, a humble people. We desire to be praised and honored. At times, we even seek it. At the very least, we maintain a deep and sometimes hidden desire to be recognized and known. Our tendency to pursue selfish pleasures over the needs of others is rampant. God forgive us for having our focus on ourselves instead of others. Forgive us for not keeping our eyes on You.
Our preoccupation with self is destroying our lives, our purpose, and our sense of peace. If we would put Jesus first in our lives, if we would live lives looking like Him, we would be fulfilled and joyful. Alas, we are not a humble people. Humility seems to always lay just beyond our grasp.
Pride rears its head in many other ways. We desire to be preferred over others. No one wants to be the last one picked for the team or project. None wants to be set aside while another is selected. We want to be the chosen one. Rather, we should seek to be despised, and in doing so, to bring glory to His name. Ask and allow God to use you despite your anonymity. Let Him use you from the outside rather than from someone’s inner circle.
We all want to be consulted and approved of by others. We want to feel important and wise. Why is it we seek such validation from those no different from ourselves? Won’t it be better by far to hear Jesus say to us, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:23)? It is to this we must aspire, not to the praises of men. But again, we are not a humble people. We want our intelligence and achievements to be recognized by our friends, family, and peers. What if we began to start living only for the praise of Jesus instead of everyone else?
Two more things lead us into a state of pride: We desire comfort and ease, and we desire to have the latest and best for ourselves first. Aren’t we far more likely to be proud of some new gadget or accomplishment than to be happy for the same gadget or accomplishment acquired by a friend or neighbor? We think it should be ours. After all, we deserve it, don’t we?
Our desire for comfort and ease results in spending an inordinate amount of time in their pursuit. People in the Western world have developed an obsession for comfort and ease. We work ridiculous hours in hopes of providing it now, and ultimately, so we can retire into a constant state of safety and security. It’s all about us. Jesus and others are left out of the equation. What is ironic is only Jesus can provide true comfort and peace. The very One we leave out is the source!
We are not a humble people. We are self-absorbed, self-reliant, and plain selfish. Humility is foreign to us. Yet this is what we are called to in Jesus. He commanded us to love Him with all our heart, mind, and strength, and then to love others in the same way (Matthew 22:37-40). We have flipped the script and made it all about us. What if we flipped it again and began living lives of humility and grace? What if we left everything up to Him, and ceased worrying or trying to take control? Wouldn’t God be glorified by such actions? We are not a humble people; but what if we were?