2 Chronicles 7:14 (ESV) … “ if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
Pride comes naturally. It was the sin which got Satan thrown out of heaven and which played a key role in Adam and Eve being thrown out of Eden. We need to take time to humble ourselves.
A friend of President Roosevelt’s told how, often, after an evening’s talk, they would stroll outside and look up into the night sky. They would see who could first find the pale bit of light near the upper-left-hand corner of the Great Square of Pegasus. Then one of them would exclaim, ‘That is the spiral galaxy of Andromeda! It is as large as our Milky Way. It is one of a hundred million galaxies. It is two and a half million light-years away. It consists of one hundred billion suns, many of them larger than our own sun!’ After a moment of quiet, Roosevelt would grin and say, ‘Now I think we are small enough. Let’s go to bed!’
A good definition of pride is ‘an inflated opinion of ourselves that we expect others to share’. We all need to learn the art of cutting ourselves down to size. True humility is not having a deflated but an accurate opinion of ourselves. And that doesn’t mean accurate in comparison with others, but in comparison with God’s standards. One of Winston Churchill’s well-known witticisms was a cutting comment about one of his political opponents: ‘Mr Attlee is a very modest man. Indeed he has a lot to be modest about.’ The point is that we all have a lot to be modest about. It will do us good to remind ourselves of that frequently. Scripture multiplies blessings to the humble: they will be saved (2 Sam. 22:28); led and taught (Ps. 25:9); lifted up (Ps. 147:6); looked to (Isa. 66:2); and given grace (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5). On the other hand, there are many warnings for the proud.