Once, I actually almost lost my life to a blind spot. I was in the passenger seat of a car, and the driver forgot to check behind her before crossing a lane. Long story short, the car was destroyed, and we were almost destroyed along with it.
Pride is a blind spot to the soul. It doesn’t just hurt you. Instead, it destroys you.
I never thought pride was an issue for me until I reached college. There was this time when I was having a deep heart-to-heart conversation with a dear friend of mine. We got to a certain level of candor and she said, “You know you come off as a bit pretentious right?” I was floored. No, I had no idea. I took her words with a grain of salt until another person said the same thing that very week. Then, I realized I needed to take it more literally.
Thing is, the clues were all there! Friendships that never worked out, because I was too aloof to understand anyone but myself. Issues with figures of authority arose, because I always had an excuse as to why they were not good enough to correct me. No one’s advice was relevant to me. No one’s guidance was good enough for me. I listened to no one but myself, therefore making the same mistakes over and over again. I should have recognized the patterns, but I couldn’t. Pride was lodged within my heart and that pride was my destructive blind spot.
Psalm 10:4 says, “In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.”
A prideful person is someone that is so filled with his or her own opinions, standards, and expectations that there is no room for any sort of truth that is inconvenient to you. There is no room for wise counsel — the sort of counsel that could save your career, your marriage, your finances, and even your faith. It’s a dangerous position to be in because you are so consumed with your own voice that you are incapable of hearing God’s voice.
A prideful person does not necessarily always look like someone that puffs up in front of others. It could look like someone consumed with self-pity and bitterness. Whether you believe you are better than everyone else or worse than everyone else, you are still filled with a self-centered worldview. You are fixated on how your surrounding perceives you. You are fixated on you, and you easily do it over anyone else — even God. This is pride.
Proverbs 26:12 says, “Do you see a person wise in their own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for them.”
On the flip side, humility is an emptying of yourself. It is not thinking less of yourself. It is thinking of yourself less.
You are no longer the sun of your universe, and all things do not revolve around you. Applying this to your life has so many profound implications.
A humble person does not struggle with offense, because you no longer expect society to cater to your feelings. A humble person does not struggle with worry, because you are no longer obsessed with your needs and desires. A humble person is not burdened with fear, because your thoughts are no longer consumed with your own paranoid, self-centered scenarios of what could happen to you or what you could lose.
A humble person is a joyful person, because your entire life revolves around our wonderful and perfect Jesus. You are a generous person, because your love for others is no longer contingent upon their love for you. You are free to be excellent without the incessant need for credit. You can extravagantly worship God without the nagging frustration of why you are not getting blessed the way you think you deserve.
The mark of humble people is a deep trust in God, and that is what sets them free.
Psalm 25:9 says, “He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.”
Too many people are afraid of humility without realizing that humility is a safeguard and shield.
As a pastor, I have seen many passionate people fall just as fast as they rise. I have met the most gifted people, and they were destructive just as much as they were productive. But, humble people are the rarest of finds. When I meet them, they are a breath of fresh air. They not only encourage me, but they inspire me to love the Lord even more. I think it’s because they look just like Jesus.
“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” (Proverbs 11:2)
(Read Part 1 and Part 2 of the “Embracing Humility” series.)