Thursday, November 02 2006
"According to Christian teachers, the essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride. Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that are mere fleabites in comparison: it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind." Mere Christianity
Someone once said that humility is the belief that you are incomparable. Such a belief sounds, on the surface, like inordinate pride, until you begin to think more deeply about it.
Pride comes in whenever we begin to make comparisons. Little children don't appear to do this. It takes the entry of a child into school, rubbing shoulders with other children his or her own age, before he or she begins to make comparisons. Perhaps it happens to us all at a certain age. However, whenever it begins, it is quite clear that we, as individual human beings, are ceaselessly interested in discovering how we measure up. And whether we place ourselves at the top of the stack, in whatever category we are judging ourselves--beauty, money, power, fame--or even if we place ourselves in the middle or at the bottom of the heap, we are still acting and thinking out of pride. For pride is not merely the attitude of thinking yourself better than others; it is the act of comparing yourself to anyone else at all, because when you do so you are involved with yourself, focused on self, and this is the essence of sin. Sin has a big "I" in the center of it, for sin is essentially self-centeredness.
To be humble is to give up the time-wasting botheration of comparing yourself to anyone else at all. To be humble is to realize that you are a loved and unique creation of God of whom he alone can judge the value. In fact, that judgment has already been made. For God valued you enough to become a human being himself, live for you, die for you, and rise again for you.
Father, help me to humble myself under your mighty hand. Thank you for valuing me so much that you gave your only Son to come down to this earth that I might be lifted up into your presence. Enable me, by the power of your Holy Spirit, to give up the time-wasting effort of comparing myself to others. Help me to realize that I am your unique and loved creation. Fill me afresh with your love today that I might overflow with that love to all whom I meet. In your Triune name I pray. Amen.