Monday, August 31, 2009

Humility, Rebellion and Pride

How do you know if you're humble?

I've heard that a truly humble person isn't aware he/she is humble. Other people see it, but the humble person doesn't.

How do you know if you're proud?

Everyone sees that.

Including the person who is proud? Not always.

In the early 70s Kenneth Copeland preached a message on pride. Since I felt so bad about myself, I decided I wasn't proud. At least that was ONE sin I didn't have.


It took God about a minute to begin showing me my pride, and for the last 30+ years He's still working on me in that area.

I went to church yesterday with a burr under my saddle. I had no sooner walked into class when I recognized what I was feeling was that ugly pride again. "Greater love has no man. . ." you know the rest. ". . .that he lays down his life for his friend."

Laying down one's life isn't about physically dying for someone. That would be too easy. Laying down one's life is saying, "I don't have to be right in anyone's eyes except God's."

I don't know about you, but rebellion reigns in my heart and has from my birth. My mother told stories of the tantrums I threw when I was little. The day she lay down on the floor and began kicking, screaming and crying just like I was doing, I stopped. Did I see how ugly that was or did I see that I was beaten? Whatever it was, it still reared up over and over in my life, but not in kicking and screaming.

A few years ago we went to the Metropolitan Museum in NYC. We had walked through several of the wings viewing works of art and were in the area of European sculpture and decorative arts. In that wing was the Farnese Table, a Roman work of marble, alabaster and semiprecious stones. It was 150 inches long and, as they described it,"a sumptuous table after the design of da Vignola proclaiming the majesty of the Roman High Renaissance." On the table was a small, tasteful sign that said, "Do Not Touch."

I'd been all over that museum with never a thought of touching anything until a sign told me not to. I had to fight the desire to reach out and lay a fingertip on that table. That's plain old rebellion rearing its proud head. That's what Adam and Eve felt when they were told by God not to touch the tree; what the Israelites felt when God handed down the Ten Thou-Shalt-Nots; and what many today experience about laws.

We don't watch Big Brother but I turned it on one night recently. All the housemates are required to be wired the entire time they are on the show. One of the women (who, I've been told, was a problem from the beginning) didn't wear hers. The Producer from somewhere by speaker, told her to put it on. Another housemate handed it to her and the woman tossed it into the swimming pool. They kicked her off the show.

Rebellion lives in our hearts, maybe all the time we're here on this earth. A banker I once knew bragged that he worked around money but was never tempted to steal any of it. However, he stole something from me--something he could have gone out and bought for very little money.

Breaking laws (speeding included), lying, stealing, cheating, believing we're right no matter what. Rebellion and Pride.

God is so good to me that He allows situations into my life all the time that show me how rebellious and proud I really am. All in order for me to learn humility.


  1. Thank you for this reminder. We all slip into pride from time to time.

  2. You have a knack for teaching important lessons from your personal experience. That component gives your lessons real power. Good job here.

  3. Thanks for the comments, Rosslyn and Warren.