Pride ain’t healthy… but a steady diet of humility is good for the soul

We in America are definitely not a humble bunch. We see magazines, newspapers, and televisions filled with information on how to build ourselves up, how to increase our self-esteem, and how to be bigger and better than the rest of the world.

This is so contrary to what the Bible tells us. The Bible speaks of humility as a modest estimation of one’s self. Humility suggests no pride and arrogance. It is a spirit of deference or submission.

When I think of humility, I think of Jesus. He did nothing from selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility he always considered the needs of others. Jesus took on the role of a lowly servant with the physical appearance of man, glorifying God in all ways while humbling himself to death on a cross (Philippians 2: 3-8).

We can live our lives expecting to be served, or, as transformed children of God, we can accept our human limitations and rely on the power of the Holy Spirit to create a humble heart in us. We are free to choose our attitude.

A friend from Texas once told me that “if it’s truth, it ain’t bragging.” As a resident of Texas for the nearly 15 years, I can now say this without prejudice. Unfortunately, long before I moved to Texas and long before I rededicated my life to Jesus, pride had become a way of life for me.

I put myself through college and worked my way up the corporate ladder. By the world’s standards I was a “success.” Proud of my accomplishments, I reminded my peers constantly of what a hard worker they had beside them. I was proud of the big bucks I made, the nice clothes I wore, my house, and horses.

I didn’t like myself much, and I’m sure others around me felt the same way about me. After I trusted Christ as my Savior, I met a remarkable lady at church. I watched her in amazement. I’m sure she didn’t realize it, but she had a tremendous impact on my life. She seemed to notice everyone’s needs and reach out to help with empathy and compassion. She seemed honestly concerned about the welfare of others. The words I, me, my and mine did not seem to be part of her vocabulary. I wanted to be like her so I tried very hard. I failed miserably.

I finally realized that I could not make myself be humble. I needed to rely on the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. I know firsthand that when we finally let go of ourselves (our concerns, anxieties, self-sufficiency, pride) and let God care for us, then, and only then, will we experience humility.

When God transforms a proud heart into a humble heart, that heart produces a magnificent fragrance of holiness.

For more information about humility and God’s Ultimate Makeover, visit:

I’m late. I’m late. I have an appointment with “The Makeover King”? Lord, it’s me Jan and I’m on my way!

Copyright 2008 by Jan Coates, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.
Jan Coates is an author, speaker, consultant, founder of Set Free Today Ministries and serves on the Board of Directors of Christians in Recovery®.

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