Humility and heaven go hand in hand. They are one in the same. Pride misses the path to heaven whereas humility knows exactly how to get home.
Do you consider yourself a humble person? If you have not thoroughly examined your heart for pride and humility then you are missing what heaven is all about. In this blog post I share some Bible verses and a practical exercise that have help me identify pride in my heart. I hope this resonates with you too.
Humility is freedom from pride or arrogance. How does one be completely free from pride? I don’t think that humans can ever sustain a lifetime of complete humility, but we can choose humility after we have blown it and were prideful. Pride delights in taking up residence in my heart. I have to continually kick it out and tell it you have no place here. The only hope I have to pry the ugly hands of pride off my heart is to understand, adore and worship the humility of Christ. Jesus was perfectly humble. So if you want to fully understand how a humble person thinks and behave, just examine the life of Jesus and then examine your heart in light of his.
In Mark 10:15-16, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”
This verse in Mark 10 is a contrast in humility and pride. Jesus was humble. The disciples were prideful. Jesus uses the situation to teach his disciples a lesson about humility and what better way than to compare our hearts to the heart of a child. Jesus says that we cannot enter the Kingdom of God if we do not receive it like a child. He spoke these words in response to his disciples scolding the people for bringing the little children to Him. Why would the disciples do that? Perhaps they believed that children should not be the center of attention in Jesus’s public ministry. Maybe some of the children were noisy or crying and this was irritating to them.
Mark 10:14 says that Jesus was indignant with his disciples because of their attitude towards the children, so in front of his disciples he turned to the parents and said, “Let the little children come to me and do not try to stop them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” I picture Jesus reaching out for a child and gently placing the child on his hips and the disciples lowering their heads in shame.
Why is humility so important to Jesus? Why does arrogance and pride make him indignant? I believe that the more you know God and why Jesus came to live on earth in the flesh, the more you will share Jesus’s attitude towards pride.
It says in Philippians 2: 6-8, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross!!!
Let’s examine the humility of Christ. Though he is God, he didn’t consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage. Wow, now imagine you are a CEO of a company but don’t use any of the privileges that come with being a CEO. Jesus made himself nothing. How? By choosing to be made in human likeness. But he didn’t stop there. He humbled himself to become obedient to death. What kind of death? DEATH ON A CROSS. This verse puts my pride to absolute shame. The standard for humility is being willing to die on a cross when you are the very nature God and have no reason to be punished and you do that for those who deserve the punishment and may never care that you died on the cross in the first place.
1 John 2:15 says: For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.
Pride comes from the world and humility comes from our Father in heaven.
So in light of this AMAZING example of humility in Christ, I keep my own list of red flags that help me examine my heart for pride.
- I judge someone rather than seek to understand.
- I can easily see the faults of others, and I am much harder on them for their faults then I am on mine.
- I cannot forgive the person who has done me wrong.
- I cannot be misunderstood or wronged.
- I gossip.
- My identity is wrapped up in my accomplishments or how much money I make.
- I don’t want to confess my sins or be real and open with people, so I only present what I want people to see.
- I want to be best or greatest at something.
- I do things to gain approval and attention but do not consider how God feels about me.
- I compare myself to others and it either makes me feel better about myself or worse about myself.
- I talk more than I listen and have to give my opinion.
- I feel entitled. I believe that I should always achieve more and have it better than I did in the past. Once I achieve a certain pay or have a certain lifestyle, I deserve that for the rest of my life.
- I don’t take the time to help the poor or needy, or when I do I think I’m doing them a big favor.
- I think life should be fair, and I am surprised when very difficult things happen to me.
- I worry rather than pray.
- I rely on my own intuition rather than seeking and obeying the truth in the Word of God.
- I hate being weak. I don’t like failure. I want to appear strong to others.
- I don’t see the value in fellowship with other believers.
- I complain and grumble rather than praise God and practice gratitude.
- I assume I’m going to heaven and don’t plan on thinking much about it until my deathbed.
Now take the time to build your own red flag list of when you know you are being prideful. It is a great exercise. Then ask yourself, when was the last time I felt or did any of the things on my list? Be specific. Name the people and places.
- Pride builds walls but humility tears them down.
- Pride divides but humility unites.
- Pride is self-seeking but humility lays itself down for others.
- Pride puffs up but humility builds up.
- Pride breeds insecurity by humility builds confidence.
- Pride creates isolation but humility creates fellowship.
- Pride hates but humility loves.
How are you doing with pride in your life? Are you actively striving to have the humility of Christ? Do you believe that humility is essential for eternal life? Do you believe that pride misses the path to heaven?