In a previous post I’ve pointed out the destructive nature of pride in our lives. In this post I want to focus on the second of five ways we can practice humility and kill the pride in our lives.
2. Evaluate my strengths realistically. Romans 12:3
We have to evaluate our strengths realistically. Romans 12:3 puts it this way “Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves…” The boxing great Mohammed Ali was on an airplane and wouldn’t fasten his seatbelt. The stewardess came up to him and asked him to buckle up. He said to her, “Superman don’t need no seat belt.” She looked at him and said, “Superman don’t need no airplane.”
Now don’t be confused here. 1) Humility is not denying your strengths. There are certain things I’m good at. There are certain things you are good at. Humility is not pretending as if this weren’t true. Humility isn’t denying your strengths, it’s admitting your weaknesses. 2) Humility is not putting yourself down all the time. “I’m nobody. I’m nothing. I’m no one important.” Saying things like this is not humility. That’s lying. You are somebody – you’re a child of God. You’re not nothing – you’re something because God paid Jesus for your redemption. You are important. God has chosen you to partner with Him in help people far from God come to know Jesus! So humility isn’t putting yourself down, it’s just not building yourself up (i.e. telling everyone how amazing you are all the time).
And be careful not to get caught up in the comparison game. If you evaluate your strengths in comparison with someone else, you always lose. Either you’ll find out the other person is doing better than you and you’ll be discouraged OR you’ll find out that you’re doing better than the other person and you’ll be filled with pride. Either way, you lose. I ran into a pastor I know about a month ago and he asked me “How many you running now?” This is such a dumb question to ask. Either I’m running more than him and he’s discouraged or he’s running more than me and he’s filled with pride. Either way, he loses.
When you compared yourself to others you always lose. So when you’re evaluating your strengths, don’t evaluate in comparison with others.