The Pharisee in Me
If you ask me about the most important things in religion, I will answer that the first, second and third things are humility.
We’re trying to move up fast
Can’t see the contrast
Of how the King came down
I used to think God’s gifts were on shelves one above the other and the taller you grew in Christian character the easier you could reach them. I find now that His gifts are on shelves one below the other, it is not a question of growing taller but stooping lower.
We all face the temptation to do spectacular things. Jesus was even temped to turn stones into bread and to throw Himself off of a temple. It is easy to fall in love with a great thing.
Everyone wants to change the world but no one wants to do the dishes. We must never fall in love with a vision or a revolution without loving our brother. It’s easy to fight with your brother about how best to serve the kingdom while forgetting that he is a part of that same kingdom.
Let us fight the temptation to be anything but small and hidden in Him. And let’s not forget that God speaks through the people with seemingly very little value: the donkey, the prostitute, the adulterer, the murderer.
We can do no great things
Only small things with great love
Pride lies as a dormant seed in the heart that will grow into the weeds and thorns that choke every spiritual fruit. It is the silent killer. Humility is the root of all virtues and without it no other virtue can really exist.
We are the real lepers in the story, our wounds festering below the surface.
Just like every disease, pride has symptoms:
Pride tends to be easily critical of others. Someone who is proud will have little patience with someone they see in sin. They will disregard the truth that we often see the faults of others most clearly when they reside deeply in our very own hearts. Humility sees people as Jesus does and meets people with patience and love.
Someone who is proud is far more concerned with how they are perceived than the state of their heart. They may endeavour to work on the sins that are most evident to people but avoid tackling what is really within. This is why Jesus called these types of people white washed tombs.
Judge yourself not on your actions or words but your thoughts and feelings
-Abouna David Lamaey
Do not get a big head if you have served well, because you have only done what you are required to do.
True humility feels no need to defend self.
“Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you, for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets” Luke 6:26
This might not be someone who is outwardly boasting but someone who just can’t say no because they love to be needed. This also ties in with the need to be praised by others. Someone who seeks attention can feel offended or not appreciated when not given credit for something they have done.
Those who are humble show no partiality regardless of the world’s love to praise those with wealth and power.
Hard for you to admit a mistake
Do you think you are usually right and others are usually wrong?
Do you find it hard to compromise? Is it your way or no way?
It can be very difficult to deal with the idea of submission in this respect.
Comparing yourself with others and ranking yourself accordingly
Humility, my child, is always to feel yourself sinful and worse than all other people, an elder explained. This is great and difficult feat. But you can accomplish it by applying yourself with unceasing labor
-A Desert Father
True comparison can only be made between yourself and the Word of God.
Feeling overly guilty for your sins
“How could I commit such a sin”
You think this isn’t about you
Thinking about someone else this whole time?…
Good news. The first step is realization; we can use that realization to fight pride. We can turn to the glorious Gospel in which we stand and make much of God, His forgiveness, grace, and desire to make us as He is! I can confess my inability to overcome this treacherous heart and can rely on His strength to deliver me from even the most extreme arrogance. I can stand at the top of my tree like Zechariah, short in stature but full of pride, and answer as Jesus calls me down to dine with Him.
To know ourselves is the beginning of wisdom. It is the beginning of realizing that we are the dust that we were created from and it is only His very breath that gives us life… and He adds to us grace and virtue!
The irony of the kingdom is that the more a heart is broken, the more it is healed and it is only the humbled bones that can truly rejoice
A man filled with pride does not know himself. If he really knew himself and his own stupidity, he would not be puffed up with pride.
-St. Mark the Hermit
Imitate the donkey in his love for his master
-St. John Chrysostom
The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rocks and make your home on the heights, you who say to yourself, ‘Who can bring me down to the ground?