Written by Olatunji Rockdweller
” For God sets Himself against the proud (the insolent, the overbearing, the disdainful, the presumptuous, the boastful)—[and He opposes, frustrates, and defeats them], but gives grace (favor, blessing) to the humble.”-(1peter 5:5 Amp)
Pastor K decided to honour some exceptional youth during a particular harvest ceremony. He awarded the most punctual youth, most active youth etc. The last award to be given was humblest youth in the church. “The humblest youth in this church is Bro Jay.” He announced. Bro J ran through the roaring crowd to receive his award, getting to the podium the pastor said “I don’t think you deserve this award, you shouldn’t have accepted this award if you are truly humble, your acceptance of this award automatically disqualified you.” These words momentarily bemused and disoriented this poor brother as silence engulfed the congregation like a graveyard. Sadly this story perfectly projects the happenings in our religious cycle today. You either agree with pastor K or you vehemently dissent . However, don’t let your judgement deter you from cruising further..
Humility and pride are the most misconstrued words in our daily dictionary especially in the religious cycle. Folks grunting under the massive weight of inferiority complex are often perceived as humble and meek, while people who have huge crust of self-esteem and understand the secret of positive confession are persecuted as the prideful race. Ironically, most people who always caterwaul about other people’s pride or ego are world most prideful folks.
Pride and humility are both heart issues. “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he” said the Holy book. It’s unwise sometimes to accuse a person, simply because we feel they are proud. We are designed and fashioned different by nature. It’s not always wise to judge our fellow human especially about delicate issues like this. Jesus said “Judge not, that ye be not judged “(Luke 6:37). Most importantly we have to check ourselves within before labeling another person prideful, else, we end up giving away our personal title to others. Jesus advised(Matthew 7:3 paraphrased)” why are you bothering yourself about the speck in another man’s eyes while you have your vision blinded by a whole log? ” Note:Millions of specks can be gotten from a log.
Humility is impossible without the spirit of God, it’s beyond human capacity to be truly humble and it’s got nothing to do with your net-worth or achievement in life. In fact, the most prideful people are poverty-stricken folks. A man of great humility is sandwiched in-between these two scriptures:
1. Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” and
2. John 15:5″…. for without me ye can do nothing.”
A humble man understands the value he carries and he is bold enough to declare it, caring less about whose ox is gored yet without losing focus of his source–which is God. So it’s legal to say words like “I am a very good writer” ,” I am the best in my class”,” I am from a rich and sound family”, “I study the Bible more than you do”, “I speak good English” , “I super-intelligent”, “I am super-cute” etc. However, he must always understand that it’s by God’s grace and it’s not necessary he says it (yeah.. It’s not a must!) . That is the exact way Jesus spoke throughout his life- he spoke with maximum authority . Apostle Paul bragged yet acknowledging God “I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all”. Paul was more audacious in Roman 2:16 “In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to MY GOSPEL.”
Jesus died so that we can live the rest of our lives in total boldness and absolute audacity. The Bible was written to help us talk, act and roar like Victors that we are. Contrary to popular opinion, bragging isn’t pride provided the braggart understands his source is God and not by his own power. Folks like Moses, Jesus and Paul wouldn’t have survived the trauma this present generation of believers would have mounted on them–they would have been suffocated by prideful generation who always feel intimidated by more audacious folks. Humility is a thing of the mind so don’t bother judging people by their actions or words, rather help yourself to be humble by constantly walking in the spirit.
Pride exists in two forms and shapes. A prideful person can either be arrogant and cocky – – putting the confidence in himself(like Nedbukadenzar) or be so mousy and shy. However, they both run with the same motto: “All eyes on me.” In fact every timid person is a very prideful soul. Timidity comes from a weak mindset that cares so much about what others think, feel or say about him. Prideful folks in this category often put on a facade that makes them to seem ‘humble’. They are so alive to the monster called ‘SELF’ which makes them to be very self-centered yet lack self-worth and identity. They spend so much acquiring materials things just to boost their dying confidence. They can do anything to be accepted in cycle of friends and they would do anything trying not to offend anybody even when they are burning inside. They feel attacked when confronted even with the truth, they often expect people to manage their fault and endure their defects.They are always good competitors. If you have such a person as your boss, he will try to relegate your self-image and devalue your self-esteem if you grant him the opportunity.
Prideful folks and worry are inseparable, depression isn’t always far from the doorstep of their souls, most of them end up being desperado in life .The religious folks in this awful category suffer so much frustration and are always stuck in the mud of guilt whenever they fall short yet they can’t help but err.
In conclusion, permit me to caressing your imagination by painting this picture(scenario) I got from Andrew Womack(One of my favorite preachers) on the canvas of your mind . I think it is the best litmus test for pride and humility and it goes thus; Imagine you are in a church of like 5000 congregations and the pastor asked everyone to pray quietly, asking God to reveal the humblest person in a assembly to them, because God needs the person to play a certain role in the ministry during that period. Surprisingly, God speaks to you that you are the humblest person in the church. After few minutes the pastor asked “who did God reveal the humblest person in this church to?”. And you’re sanguine– God told you that you are the humblest person in the congregation . What would you do? Would you be bold enough to stand up and grab the mic to declare what you believe you heard from God? Or would you keep it to yourself at that time and prefer to go see the pastor in privacy? If you are not going to stand up and declare what you have received from God, then you are not eligible to tag anybody ‘prideful’, because you have a huge log in your eyes and you need an urgent optical surgery.
Finally my beloved, let’s throw away our lenses of accusations, don’t let the accuser of the brethren use you for free,we all have a lot of work to do on ourselves in this area. The only cure to prideful heart is consciously developing a heart of worship and constant communion with the Holy Spirit.
Grace unto thee,