Humility and Pride

by Omolola Oriogun

“Hey guys, how was your holiday and how did it go?” With joy, all the kids raised their hands wanting to be the first to give me his or her own gist. Pointing to the first girl, she narrated how her hols went. She said and I quote: “My holiday was not full of activities like most of my peers might have been because my parents didn’t take me anywhere. No travels, because my Daddy and Mummy didn’t have money to take us on any journey, so I was home helping my Mom.”  

I pointed to another girl who said, “My parents took me and my siblings to the United States for hols. We stayed with my cousins, picked my sister who is in a boarding school in US and we all the following day visited Disney Land. We had fun throughout and I really enjoyed my hols with my family.”

This time, I called a boy and he said, “Though my parents had the money to take us abroad, they said they wanted my siblings and I to visit with our grandparents. We stayed some days with our Dad’s parents, spent some time with our Mum’s parents too and spent the rest of our hols with our parents. They took us to the cinemas and all through our hols, we had fun.”

All the while these three kids were talking, there was this chubby, pretty girl who was constantly saying “Aunty, please call me too.” So after the boy, I pointed to her to hear her own side of the story. She stood in front of the class and said, “I’m the only child of my parents and so my hols was full of fun. My parents took me to all the places I wanted to visit, bought me new clothes, shoes, bags, jewelleries, etc.”

As the girl went on and on with the gist of her parents and her, gesticulating and all that, the thought came to me to stop her because the entire class was getting irritated with her ranting, furthermore I noticed pride in her tone and with this I told her to stop and asked the class to clap for themselves.

Ruminating over what happened that day, I thought to myself and came to the conclusion that pride is a dangerous weapon Satan uses against every child of God, both young and old and thus I came up with this next write-up.

When you read through the Bible, a common theme is that we must avoid pride and take on humility as part of our character. Apostle Paul in Rom. 12:3, 10 and 16 admonishes Christians not to be proud but humble, to have faith in God and help one another in love because pride lures us into living independently of God.

In Luke 18:9-14, Jesus told the parable of two men who went into the temple to pray. One was the proud pharisee and the other, a humble publican. Jesus made us realise that GOD justified the publican rather than the pharisee because of humility.

The pharisee in Jesus’ parable did not go to the temple to pray to GOD but to announce to all within earshot how good he was. The publican on the other hand went recognising his sin and begging GOD for mercy.

Self-righteousness is dangerous. It leads to pride, causes a person to despise others, and prevents him or her from learning anything from GOD. Do not become proud because of your achievements. Don’t allow pride cut you off from GOD.

There are different forms of pride, GOD regards some pride as being good and some as being bad.

GOD regards pride as being bad when it is related to:

a. Pride in Appearance:
In 2 Cor. 5:12, Apostle Paul addressed the Corinth church that they should rather glory (pride) in heart than glory (pride) in appearance.

b. Pride in Riches:
Eze. 7:20-21 shows us how the children of Israel prided themselves in their riches and possession above God and God took everything away from them by given it all to strangers.

Care needs to be taken to ensure we are not taking pride in riches.

c. Pride in comparing One with Another:
Apostle Paul in 1 Cor. 4:6 advised the Corinthians that they should not take pride in one man over against another. Because by doing so, they’re allowing comparison among themselves which will breed strife.

d. Pride in things You have Achieved:
In Prov. 27:2, Solomon advised that other people are the ones to tell you how great you are not you yourself. When you praise yourself, pride is king in your heart.

e. Boasting:
1 Cor.5:6 shows us that pride is not good and dangerous because it is contagious.

Usually when God speaks about pride, HE is referring to this bad pride. This type of human pride has one overriding characteristic – It is Self-Centred. Avoid it!!!

When GOD sees pride as being good, it is related to:

a. Pride in God:
David the Psalmist in Psalm 34:2 shows us how to pride in God rather than in self.

b. Pride in Others:
In 2 Cor. 1:14, Paul showed the Corinthians that as they make boast of them the apostles here on earth, they (apostles) will make boast of them before Jesus Christ.

c. Pride in Self:
In Gal. 6:4, Paul advised christians to prove their own works & rejoice in it. By so doing, there will be no need for comparison and competition.

Pride in the work of GOD is praise in the Bible. It is okay to have a feeling of pleasure  in something well done for the work of God as long as you don’t compare yourself against other people.

Humility is essential for service to others. It is a deep awareness of unworthiness, not worthiness.

Don’t try to impress anyone. Rather than aiming for prestige, look for a place where you can serve. If God wants you to serve on a wider scale, He will invite you to take a higher place.

The Bible tells us of many ways to increase humility in our character. They are as follows:

1. Put into use every teaching of Jesus, His Apostles and the preachers He’s using now and you will profit thereby  (Phil. 4:9).

2. Help and do good to people without drawing other people’s attention to it just like the bible says in Matt. 6:3-4.

3. Confide in someone about your weaknesses and faults, so you can be helped and prayed for ( James 5:16).

4. Everything you do must be done to give God all the glory and not your self just as Paul advice in ( 1 Cor. 10:31).

5. Boast about God and His power, not about yourself (Jer. 9:23-24).

In summary, we need to think more about God and less about ourselves. By so doing, humility will be found in us and not pride.   Let me stop here…

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