Bible Studies for Life Lesson for January 9- A Lifestyle in Humility
December 20 2010 by Joel Stephens, pastor, Westfield Baptist Church

Focal Passages: Luke 14:7-11; John 13:3-5, 14-15; Philippians 2:1-4  

One of my favorite writers, C. S. Lewis wrote: “There is one vice of which no man in the world is free; which every one in the world loathes when he sees it in someone else; and of which hardly any people, except Christians, ever imagine that they are guilty themselves….There is no fault which makes a man more unpopular, and no fault which we are more unconscious of in ourselves. And the more we have it ourselves, the more we dislike it in others.

“The vice I am talking of is Pride….According to Christian teachers, the essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride. Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere fleabites in comparison: it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind” (Mere Christianity [New York: Touchstone, 1996], 109-110).

At first glance, we may want to argue with this statement. We may say, “Certainly God does not think one sin to be greater than another. A sin is a sin — pride included.” This is a true statement, but it misses Lewis’ point. He’s not arguing that pride deserves a greater penalty than other sins; he is arguing that pride is the soil in which sin mushrooms. And I think he is right.

Pride is the source of rebellion. Pride is what causes a person to think, “I know what God says, but I think…” and regardless of what finishes that thought, the sin began with “but I.” Pride is also essentially competitive. A proud man never boasts about what he has; he boasts in having more of it than others. And this is the diabolical shadow that pride casts. If pride causes me to be discontented because I am not “number one,” then I have a real problem. I will never be “number one” because God is eternally victor.

Once I realize that, I am faced with a choice. Either I must abandon my pride and surrender to Him. Or, I must choose to be His eternal enemy.

At any moment, any of us can be in the clutches of pride and scarcely know it. Humility is the prevention and the cure. Humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking more of others. As Paul said, “In lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself” (Philippians 2:3, NKJV).  
12/20/2010 9:27:00 AM by Joel Stephens, pastor, Westfield Baptist Church | with 0 comments

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