Search RJ's Blog

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

From Pride to Humility - 1 John 2:16

Over the summer, I was given a small booklet on the biblical perspective of pride and humility. 1 John 2:16 says pride is not of God, but of the world, "For all that is in the world - the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life - is not from the Father but is from the world." 

I received this booklet as an encouragement to avoid being prideful because it was misinterpreted that I was going around on purpose parading around my works (which I was excited to be apart of since I graduated from CBU). I could totally see how some of my words and actions could of been perceived as prideful, narcissistic, and puffed up after the discussion. Therefore, I humbly apologized and acknowledged forgiveness, and explained myself to make things clear and transparent. Initially, it is never a good feeling when someone calls you out (whether they are right or wrong), and thinks you are a prideful individual. Nevertheless, as I have wisely learned over many years in my youth, it is important to listen to people who think things like this because they not only see something that you cannot see in yourself, but they primarily and genuinely care about you and your well-being among others (and in this context, for my future success wherever the Lord sends me). I am thankful for people like this because they want the best to shine out of me for the glory of God. This was specifically the case with me.

The small booklet I was given is by Stuart Scott called, From Pride to Humility: A Biblical Perspective, which is a small except from the book, The Exemplary Husband. It is dated, but I am so grateful for this resource because it ministered to me in many ways by confirming to me the things that I am doing well, and the things I need to seriously consider.  Scott writes, "Pride is blinding...The question is not, 'Do I have it?' but, "Where is it?' and 'How much of it do I have?' We all have the tendency to think too much about ourselves and too much of ourselves." Scott goes on to lay out 30 different kinds of pride in order to try and expose any prideful manifestations of self-righteousness. Each one speaks of pride coming from thinking too much about yourself or of yourself compared to God and others:

Manifestations of Pride (by Stuart Scott)
1. Complaining against or passing judgment on God (cf. Num. 14:1-4, 9, 11; Rom. 9:20)
2. A lack of gratitude in general (cf. 2 Chron. 32:25)
3. Anger (Matt. 20:1-16)
4. Seeing yourself as better than others (Luke 7:36-50)
5. having an inflated view of your importance, gifts and abilities (1 Cor. 4:7)
6. Being focused on the lack of your gifts and abilities (1 Cor. 12:14-25)
7. Perfectionism (Matt. 23:24-28)
8. Talking too much (Prov. 10:19)
9. Talking too much about yourself (Prov. 27:2; Gal. 6:3)
10. Seeking independence or control (1 Cor. 1:10-13; Eph. 5:21)
11. Being consumed with what others think (Gal. 1:10)
12. Being devastated or angered by criticism (Prov. 13:1)
13. Being unteachable (Prov. 19:20; John 9:13-34)
14. Being sarcastic, hurtful, or degrading (Prov. 12:18, 23)
15. A lack of service (Gal. 5:13; Eph. 2:10)
16. A lack of compassion (Matt. 5:7, 18:23-25)
17. Being defensive or blame-shifting (Gen. 3:12-13; Prov. 12:1)
18. A lack of admitting when you are wrong (Prov. 10:17)
19. A lack of asking forgiveness (Matt. 5:23-24)
20. A lack of biblical prayer (Luke 18:10-14)
21. Resisting authority or being disrespectful (1 Pet. 2:13-17)
22. Voicing preferences or opinions when not asked (Phil. 2:1-4)
23. Minimizing you own sin and shortcomings (Matt. 7:3-5)
24. Maximizing others' sin and shortcomings (Matt. 7:3-5; Luke 18:9-14)
25. Being impatient or irritable with others (Eph. 4:31-32)
26. Being jealous of envious (1 Cor. 13:4)
27. Using others (Matt. 7:12; Phil. 2:3-4)
28. Being deceitful by covering up sins, faults, and mistakes (Prov. 11:3, 28:13)
29. Using attention-getting tactics (1 Pet. 3:3-4)
30. Not having close relationships (Prov. 18:1-2; Heb. 10:24-25)

On the contrary, Scott responses with the "put off and put on" principle. Colossians 3:9-10, "Seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator." Jay Adams, renowned Christian counselor and author, calls this the "De-habituation/Re-habituation" method. The practical response is to "put off" the manifestations of pride and "put on" the manifestations of humility. The goal is to remove any habitual, prideful characteristics and apply new habitual, humble characteristics. Scott ends his booklet with a list of 24 manifestations of humility towards about others or of God compared to yourself:

Manifestations of Humility (by Stuart Scott)
1. Recognizing and trusting God's character (Ps. 119:66)
2. Seeing yourself as having no right to question and judge God (Ps. 145:17; Rom. 9:19-23)
3. Focusing on Christ (Phil. 1:21; Heb. 12:1-2)
4. Biblical prayer and a great deal of it (1 Thess. 5:17; 1 Tim. 2:1-2)
5. Being overwhelmed with God's undeserved grace and goodness (Ps. 116:12-19)
6. Being thankful and grateful in general towards others (1 Thess. 5:18)
7. Being gentle and patient (Col. 3:12-14)
8. Seeing yourself as no better than others (Rom. 12:16; Eph. 3:8)
9. Having an accurate view of your gifts and abilities (Rom. 12:3)
10. Being a good listener (James 1:19; Phil. 2:3-4)
11. Talking about others only if it is good or for their good (Prov. 11:13)
12. Being gladly submissive and obedient to those in authority (Rom. 13:1-2; Heb. 13:17)
13. Preferring others over yourself (Rom. 12:10)
14. Being thankful for criticism or reproof (Prov. 9:8; 27:5-6)
15. Having a teachable spirit (Num. 22:22-35; 1 Tim. 3:1-8)
16. Seeking always to build up others (Eph. 4:29)
17. Serving (Gal. 5:13-14)
18. A quickness in admitting when you are wrong (Prov. 29:23)
19. A quickness in granting and asking for forgiveness (Eph. 4:32)
20. Repenting of sin as a way of life (1 John 1:9; 1 Tim. 4:7-9)
21. Minimizing others' sins or shortcomings in comparison to your own (Matt. 7:3-5)
22. being genuinely glad for others (Rom. 12:15)
23. Being honest and open about who they are and the areas in which they need growth (Gal. 6:2)
24. Possessing close relationships (Acts 20:31-38)

No comments:

What is your favorite subject in Christian Studies?