Humble Like A Rolling Stone
You save a humble people, but your eyes are on the haughty to bring them down. 2 Samuel 22:28
Have you seen a beach pebble before? The stones are completely smooth, rounded and refined by the constant churning of ocean waves. People who are humble have often experienced that same churning, which is a painful process.
Pride is the greatest obstacle of humility. Martin DeHaan wrote that “pride is such a clever deceiver that it entrapped the devil himself. Pride defers to us, encouraging us to inflate our own importance yet still allowing us to self-destruct. Pride can find a way to intertwine with every emotion and make itself heard in every decision. Pride both struts and limps.”
But pride doesn’t serve us well in the end. Scripture notes that pride goes before destruction (Proverbs 16:18). I hate to admit it, but more than once, I’ve asserted what I thought was my superior knowledge on various topics only to look like a fool when I was corrected. We all get a laugh from watching someone else puff themselves up, completely unaware that their self-importance is a joke to everyone listening. Humble people avoid that shame by not assuming theirs is the most valuable voice in the room.
I don’t think that many of us are naturally humble. Those that aren’t boasters often focus disproportionally on their shortcomings, which is another way of irritatingly making ourselves the center of attention. Learning humility is a function of being tossed around in the waves of experience, our eyes slowly opening to God’s focus rather than our own.
Resource reading: Proverbs 16:1-33
Martin DeHaan, “A Great Imposter,” pamphlet produced by RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI, Feb. 2005