“…Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.”1 Peter 5:5
As many of us have noticed throughout our lives, God has a way of humbling us. You think of yourself high and mighty one day only to be abased on another day. You say you are a “perfectionist” only to find out that no one is perfect, no not one. I cringe when I hear someone speak highly of themselves as I know there is a fall coming. I cringe because I have been the one who has fallen many times whether it be into sin, or intimidated or humbled by not being as good as I thought was. I could share many stories where God has humbled me in my life, but I will share just one of the many in which God has used to work in my life.
There was someone who worked for me who was not very bright, and his sense of humor caused no one to laugh. His jokes fell flat and, in all honesty, he just was not funny. He was slow to every punch line and you sometimes had to be a detective to find it. He was frustrating to work with as he was lazy and always trying to joke around. He learned that I liked to play a video game called Madden, and he offered to play me online. I laughed at the notion of him playing me as I thought I was quite good at this game. I agreed to play him after work one day, and he started to run his mouth on how he was going to destroy me. I did not believe his IQ exceeded 85, and I was confident he was not going to beat me. I matched his trash talking and even raised it a little bit. I got anyone I could to laugh at him with me, and I could not wait to play him.
The day came and we had everything set up online, and I was licking my chops. The game started and he quickly pulled away, which surprised me, but I was confident that I could solve what he was doing to me. The game went on and things get progressively worse and the trash talk went to another level. He asked if I was still there and he laughed at my silence. I do not believe I scored in that game but I lost by over 60 points. He came to work the next day floating on a cloud and his mouth worked harder than he ever did. People came up to me and asked me if what he said was true, and I hung my head as I nodded yes. I got laughed to scorn until I looked up and gave the hairy eye. I was humiliated. I have learned a few things from that day, and I have not repeated that mistake.
I learned that no matter how good I may think I am at something, I am ultimately dependent on God for all things as He is the One who has given me all things. I have learned that God hates pride, and I should hate pride in myself. No matter how challenged I am by another or no matter what someone may say, I am to be clothed with humility. I am not to think of myself higher than I should. Some say they need to start the day with a cup of coffee, but I need to start my day by jumping in the grave and dying to myself. God is not pleased with my pride, but He does turn His ear toward a humble and contrite spirit. I read the Psalms and verse after verse speaks of David’s broken spirit over sin he had committed. He did not come to God with excuses or blame, but he wept over his sin and God heard his cry. If we do not die to self, then we will brag about ourselves and be prone to defend ourselves or talk trash to someone whom we should ignore. We are nothing without God, and we have nothing to be proud of outside of Him.
How do you think of yourself? Do you have a high view of yourself? Are you offended by anything that is said to you? Do you have a short fuse and quick to fly off the handle at any critique thrown your way? Do you recruit others to take your side even when you are wrong? Do you need to jump in the grave and die to self? God will always resist those who are proud, and He will always help those who will humble themselves. May we hate what God hates, and may we hate the pride in our own lives more than we hate it in the lives of others. You cannot offend a dead man and a dead man has no pride. Jump in the grave and find victory in living a life of submission to God and others.