Pride vs. Humility

*Isaiah 10:15, “Is that axe to boast itself over the one who chops with it? Is the saw to exalt itself over the one who wields it? that would be like a club wielding those who lift it, or like a rod lifting him who is not wood.”

There have been many instances lately during my morning devotions where God has shown me specific passages of Scripture regarding pride and humility. Though neither of these traits are distinctly mentioned in this verse from Isaiah, it still illustrates a common form a pride among believers, definitely including myself. Isn’t it so often that a believer looks at something wonderful that God did through them, and yet they say, “Look at what I have done”. For example, if someone were to thank me for sharing a certain encouraging passage from Scripture, then, rather than giving God the credit for providing the encouragement through His word, I might say something like, “Oh, I know. I’m just that encouraging, right?” Obviously, this is the exact incorrect and sinful response. It reminds me of the example of a paintbrush hopping up and down in front of a gorgeous mural shouting, “Look at me! Look at what I did!” Humorous, but painfully similar to the heart of a believer who lacks the humility to give the glory to God.

So, instead of the axe boasting of itself, it should, without any hesitation, praise the one who used it to chop down that cedar. C.J. Mahaney says in his book Humility: True Greatness, “…humility is our greatest friend and pride is our greatest enemy.” Not only that, but “humility is honestly assessing ourselves in light of God’s holiness and our sinfulness.” Before we can defeat our greatest enemy and start sincerely giving God the glory, we have to see ourselves as sinful and wretched in comparison to God’s beautiful and righteous holiness. We are ugly, despicable, sinful, and wicked apart from the love, grace, and mercy of Jesus Christ. Doesn’t He deserve every ounce of the glory if only for that? Even if that is the only reason, we should be completely and totally humiliated to the point that we can’t but help give God the glory for His power.

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