Sunday, April 17, 2016

My struggle with pride and humility

I struggle a lot with pride and humility. Do you? 

I have been taught to be humble my whole life but in my efforts to be humble in all I do, prideful thoughts still come to my mind untethered. I found that I will wallow myself in them but the moment I realize what I am doing, I will feel so ashamed and guilty about it.

According to the dictionary, humility is "modest opinion or estimate of one's own importance, rank," and pride is "a high or inordinate opinion of one's own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct." (emphasis mine)

So what does this mean? As much as I work on myself not to be prideful, to teach myself and practice humility, those prideful thoughts still come. I can't seem to stop them. What can I do? What am I suppose to do? Stop thinking?

Humility is a command from God. It is the fear of the Lord. We are called to be humble before God. But when I looked for the practice of humility in the bible, it is very much focused on doing and being, not thinking. Humility is to be patient and bearing with others in love (Eph 4:2), it is to value others above yourself (Phil 2:3), it is the willingness to be last and be servant of all (Mark 9:35), it is serving one another in love (Gal 5:13).*

I also started wondering how great but humble people experience prideful thoughts. Do they have them? How do they handle it if they do?

Could the key be, as in the definition above, not to cherish self in the mind? I cannot deny that prideful thoughts do come, but I think I still need to work on my mind to stop them. And when they come, to realise it as quickly as possible and to surrender to God as a work in progress and move on.

It is indeed a struggle. 


*I know I am probably not thorough enough in my search. I am sure I would have missed out verses on humility and the mind. If you know them, please let me into it.


  1. I often say, in the spiritual life humility is simply not an option ... we either humble ourselves or someone will do it for us. And often it feels more like humiliation. ツ

  2. So true. But it is tough to be humble. It seems so elusive. The moment you think you are, you are not.

  3. It has been a long time since I thought myself to be humble.