Warning: We’ve Got a Pandemic on Our Hands
Imagine with me that we’ve stepped inside the makings of a sci-fi movie. A pandemic has struck the globe. Something is making us sick. In fact, it’s killing our relationships, our sensitivity to the things of God, and our ability to be used for His kingdom work. The infected spend time talking, tweeting, and Facebooking about themselves, only making themselves sicker and sicker.
What is it that has such a hold on us? What could possibly reach such pandemic proportions?
Pride. Me-centric thinking. In a culture that elevates the individual, celebrates celebrity, and loves the idea of self-promotion, me-centric thinking is everywhere.
And yet, God urges us not to boast (Gal. 6:14), asks us to consider others’ needs ahead of our own (Phil. 2:3), warns us that pride precedes a fall (Prov. 16:18), and tells us that true love is not self-seeking (1 Cor. 13:5).
So, we’ve got a problem on our hands. The world around us is sick with pride. We’re at risk and are likely already infected.
The good news is there is an antidote. Romans 12:2–3 says,
"Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you."
I’ve heard it said that humility isn’t thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less. In contrast, pride will sicken our hearts and our relationships, most seriously our relationship with God. James 4:6 tells us that “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”
God works against the proud but extends grace to the humble. Those are the stakes, and yet—lets face it—humility can be a difficult pill to swallow. It flies in the face of everything our flesh wants.
Because pride is so prevalent, humility is a vaccination we will need to choose over and over and over again. The good news is, Jesus hopped on the exam table first, willingly choosing to live humbly despite His position so that we could see what humility looks like. Philippians 2:5-7 says,
"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men."
If humility is the medicine we need, Jesus is the model patient.
Yes, the world is sick with pride, but shaking our heads and pointing our fingers won’t help. Still, we can protect our own hearts and homes by humbly recognizing it’s not about us.
How have you seen pride do damage in your life? What do you do to choose humility in a world full of me-centric thinkers?