One of our biggest challenges in life is knowing who we are and who are not. Without that hold on reality, we will constantly lead ourselves astray and remain unsatisfied at our core. Pride is probably our biggest hurdle to knowing who we are and living that truth out in our lives. Pride is something that leads to distorted will and self-trust, and a sense that we don’t need anyone else (including God) to show us the way and determine what is true. With pride, we can become consumed with feeding our ego, believe we have nothing new to learn, and actually put ourselves in the place of God. Pride is the sin that caused Lucifer to fall from heaven, and we can see why it is called the foundation of all the other deadly sins since it leads to so many of our sins that separate us from God.
I can’t think of anything Jesus said or did that did not have profound meaning for us to take seriously as a guide. I don’t think he would have said, “He who is greatest among you shall be your servant; whoever exalts himself shall be humbled, and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted” if he did not mean it. When Jesus humbled himself to become human, he bowed down to John the Baptist to be baptized, he knelt down before each apostle to wash the dirt from their feet at the Last Supper, and he sacrificed his life for us on the cross to save us from our sins, showing us the way. He is the model of humility and shows us that humility is not a form of weakness but of courage, strength and love. As C.S. Lewis said, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.”
Once we realize, deep down in the way we really thing and act, that God is God, and we are not, we begin operate according to his will instead of our own – something that always leads to a better answer for ourselves and those around us. We become less preoccupied with how we are personally doing, and start seeing and treating those around us differently, and with more dignity. We become less preoccupied with who is right and more with what is right. Humility leads us to more growth, more joy and contentment, and deeper friendships and love with those around us. God only loves us, and so the example he leads us to can only be the best thing for us. If the example that Christ gives us is of the humble servant, then you can be sure that is the right route for each of us as well.