One of the most remarkable judges of human character was the late C.S. Lewis. He seemed able to express very profound truths about how we think and behave in very simple words. Counsellors would do well to read his writings to gain insight into human nature.
He wrote about one attribute we all possess that we do not even realize we have, but when we see this trait in others we’re disgusted. This particular vice is so secretive within our own hearts that we would usually deny we have it. However, we are quick to see it in others.
The character trait I speak of is pride. The more pride that resides within our hearts, the greater is our disgust at it in others. Pride is the sin that caused Adam and Eve to take the fruit of the forbidden tree (Genesis 3).
Pride refers to an inflated sense of your own worth. People who are proud are highly offensive to those around them—who must endure their praise of themselves. A little girl goes into family room of her home where the party her parents are hosting is gathered and says to the guests, “Aren’t I beautiful in my pretty dress?” everyone heartily agrees with her. However, if her mother did the same thing it would be an embarrassment to everyone present.
If you feel the urge to draw people’s attention to yourself and your accomplishments, pride fuels that desire. Pride is the life blood of every sin. Only if we are humbled by our Creator will we live in His presence. Pride causes us to put ourselves ahead of others, while humility causes us to put others ahead of ourselves.
One theologian said, “There are only two kinds of people in the world, the proud who think they are humble and the humble who know they are proud.” All God requires of us is to walk humbly with Him (Micah 6:8). Sadly that is what our proud hearts are incapable of doing.
Trials in life are excellent teachers of humility. When we need someone to push our wheelchair, or when our loved one needs the services of the medical community—or they need some other help we cannot give—we are forced to humble ourselves and ask for assistance. These trials can draw us close to the Lord as we accept the fact that we are weak and needy.
Our Creator uses sorrow to create humility in our hearts. He uses problems to bring us to the end of ourselves. For as long as we live under the illusion we can take care of ourselves come what may, we are not at the place where God’s grace is to be found.
Whatever your issue in life, make sure that you are never going to resolve the matter on your own. You require divine help and it is to be found in the One Who made you. As long as you stubbornly push ahead trying to do it on your own you will never find help with the Lord. God’s grace is there for all who will come in humility of heart and confess they are unable to cope.