Verse: Proverbs 16:18-19
Pride goes before destruction,
a haughty spirit before a fall.
Better to be lowly in spirit along with the oppressed
than to share plunder with the proud.
This is one of those Proverbs that is worth memorizing. "Pride goes before destruction." When I was younger I memorized it as "Pride comes before the fall." In other words, self dependence and thinking too much of myself, will eventually lead to a bad outcome in my life.
Pride is a lack of dependence on God and a lack of acknowledgement of his grace in our lives. Pride is assuming we are where we are because of us—our hard work, our smarts, our amazing personality. Pride is only going to God when we need something, rather than recognizing his hand in every day of our lives.
How do we avoid pride? Humility obviously. But how does one become humble? It seems like an oxymoron - can anyone ever really say, "I am humble?" Humility can seem like a moving target, but here are a few suggestions:
1) Pray for Humility
We can (and should) ask God for humility. Ask him to teach us how to live humble lives, and to humble us where we are prideful.
2) Do Humble Things
This sounds so dumb I know, but humility can be chosen. You can choose to prefer another person. You can choose to let someone else shine brighter. You can choose to make humble choices. As we choose humility, we will become more humble.
3) Serve Others
This is a continuation of the last one, but one way to learn the way of humility is to serve other people. As we serve, and lay our lives down, we learn humility. It cuts against the grain of our ego-centric lives, and forces us to value other people above ourselves.
4) Live with Gratitude
Lastly, we can live a life of gratitude. We can practice gratitude towards God and others on a daily basis. The more we learn to be grateful to God and others for what they have done in our lives, the harder it is to assume we've done it all on our own.
I pray that you would teach me humility, Lord. Help me to cast off pride and learn to walk like you—in humility.