HE must increase, but I must decrease. ~ John 3:30
Plain and simple . . . Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.
C.S. Lewis’s definition of humility nails it. So much more than Webster’s:
the state of being not proud or haughty : not arrogant or assertive; lowliness; meekness.
My question: What is it that gets in our way of being truly humble?
- Impatience. We live in an instantaneous world. We want what we want and we want it right now. There’s an unwillingness to trust that God is really in control.
- Insecurity. We feel that if certain things don’t happen, and if things don’t go the way we think or feel, we simply cannot continue. We just can’t go on. We can’t face another day of this mess. We just continue to listen to those insecurities that spin through our head.
- Identity in the wrong things. We can only feel good about ourselves if we are a success by how our social networks see us. Or how the people we come in contact with every day rate us. Don’t you wish life was as good as it seems to be on Instagram, or Facebook, or Twitter? We let the role we see ourselves in dictate our identity.
- Ignorance of the Word. We decide for ourselves what is right, instead of making the choice to line up our desires and thoughts with the Word.
- Impure motives. Discontent or jealousy causes us to push ahead of God and use manipulation to get our way. It’s my way or the highway.
- Impulsiveness. Without asking God, we assume every seeming opportunity is a door He has opened. Never assume. Remember the enemy knows how to open doors too.
- Ingratitude. A lack of thankfulness for what He’s given twists our perspective. We take on an attitude of ingratitude.
All of the above add up to Pride. We’ve all been guilty of pride – we just have a hard time admitting it.
In Lewis’s book Mere Christianity he talks about how pride is a major obstacle to knowing God.
As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on things and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.
Later, he says, “ . . . pride is spiritual cancer: it eats up the very possibility of love, or contentment, or even common sense.”
And so HE must increase, but I must decrease.