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After a week of fall break, or “fall reading days”, things are once again back in full swing here at Southern.  Our latest lecture in Biblical Counseling concerned the putting off of pride, and the putting on of humility.  Dr. Scott, I believe, very accurately described pride as an “epidemic vice”.

The question we have to ask ourselves is not whether or not it exists in our lives, but where and how much.  Amy Carmichael once said, “Those who think too much of themselves don’t think enough.”  We can see this is a huge problem in our culture, and modern therapeutic methods have only thrown gasoline onto the proverbial fire.

The definition we used for pride is the mindset of self: a focus on self and the service of self, a pursuit of self-recognition and self-exaltation, and a desire to control and use all things for self.  (See any key terms here??)

We went through 31 different manifestations of pride, including a lack of gratitude, having an inflated view of our importance or giftings, perfectionism, lack of compassion, and maximizing the sin and shortcoming of others.  As we were going through these, we all kind of thought, “OK, OK, we get it, we’ve got pride in our lives.  Now let’s move to humility…”.  However, the professor stressed that we really need to linger here for a while and truly expose ourselves to  how deep this is running in our lives.

We each took a self-assessment on those 30 or so manifestations along with their descriptions and accompanying verses and gave each one a score from 0 (not an issue in my life) to 5 (life-dominating issue in my life).  Let me tell you, we felt pretty beat up after taking that assessment! But, beat up in a good way.

Thankfully, we still had the second half of the class to talk about putting on humility.  Defined, humility is the mindset of Christ, a focus on God and others, a pursuit of the recognition and the exaltation of God and a desire to glorify and please God in all things and by all things He has given. (compare to definition of pride above)  Much like how the definitions contrast, we examined the 30 manifestations again but concerning humility. We then looked at practical ways to be intentional about moving from pride to humility:

  • Praying for God to search our hearts by His Spirit and Word, and helping us to repent of pride and grow in humility
  • Reading Psalms and the prophets to get a high view of God and proper view of ourselves
  • Studying Jesus and his example
  • Ask others where they see pride in your life
  • Spending time focusing on God and the love demonstrated on the cross
  • Practicing the 38 “one-another” commands of scripture.
  • Going back through those manifestations and working with the Holy Spirit to put off pride and put on humility in our motives, thoughts, words, and deeds.
  • Realizing that humility but become a way of life.

Needless to say, it was a very humbling class!  I would definitely recommend picking up Stuart Scott’s booklet From Pride to Humility and dig through these issues deeply.

Any thoughts on pride or how you have seen it manifest itself in your life?  What you have been doing to put on humility?

~ Isaac ~