Pride: my biggest weakness right now. I believe that pride is the root of all evil. As I wrote in The American Dream, "A very wise man once told me that the root of all sin is pride. And it's true. Because of pride, we are able to splurge on ourselves yet turn blind eyes and ears to the poor and needy. Because of pride, we become stubborn, thinking only of ourselves and not of others. Because of pride, we bully people or lie or steal or kill, or commit any other sin." The way I see it, all sin stems from pride. Pride is the reason man shakes his fist at God. We sin because we are imperfect, selfish people, and pride is behind all selfishness.
And so I believe that humility is very valuable. The point of our existence is to bring all glory to God. But we live as if it's all about us. When we live selfishly, we miss the point of living. We miss out on the joy of giving, on the contentedness of simple living, on the happiness and peace of following Christ.
Located in Matthew 5 are the famous "Beatitudes." I've heard many sermons on the Beatitudes, and there's a reason: if you're looking to live a life that's all about God, reading the Beatitudes is a good place to start. The following are the Beatitudes, as taught by Jesus to His disciples:
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."
If you approach this passage with a selfish mindset, you can't help but marvel at the insanity and stupidity of this passage. You might think, "Blessed are those who are poor in spirit? Blessed are those who mourn? Blessed are you when you're insulted and persecuted? Blessed are you when people slander you and gossip about you? That's bizarre! That's insane! You'd have to be crazy to believe that!" But here's the thing: to God, this passage makes perfect sense. Remember that God is the God who said that in heaven, the first will be last and the last will be first. Remember that God's system often words backwards to ours.
If you approach this passage with a Godly minset, then you can't help but marvel at the beauty and the genuis of this passage. Why? Because this is our roadmap to a Christlike life. Sure, it may not make sense if we use worldly logic. But we must think like God. Romans 12:2 says, "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." If you want to live a life that brings all the glory to God, you must first learn how God thinks. To Him, you'll be blessed by being poor in spirit, by being meek, by being hungry and thirsty for knowledge and righteousness, by showing mercy, by being pure, by being a peacemaker, by being persecuted for your faith, and by being insulted for your faith. When all this happens to you, rejoice and be glad! Because great is your reward in heaven.
God doesn't think like us. In Isaiah 55:8, God says, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways." If you want to life a life that brings glory and attention to God, then you have to think like God. But that isn't what we were originally talking about. We started off talking about humility. So if you want to life a life that brings glory and attention to God, then you have to be humble.
The two greatest commandments that Jesus gave us are 1) To love God with all our heart, mind, and soul, and 2) To love others as we love ourselves (Matt. 22:37-40). In other words, treat others as you want to be treated. This is the lifestyle Jesus wants us to follow. When we live with God as our top priority and others as our second, then we've truly found humbleness.
I invite you to join me in the search of humility. I have lived a life that is all about me, and it isn't worth it. Chances are, you've discovered that too. But will you do what it takes to find a life with true meaning and purpose? Will you dare to take a leap of faith and live a life that's all about God? In order to do so, you have to love God above everything and love others more than yourself. With God's help, this is possible. It takes a lot of prayer, practice, and patience. So will you give up your life, die each day, carry your cross, and follow Him?