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When you think about it, responding with pride is easy. Pretending you’re not as bad as you really are is automatic. Denying or covering up that you made a mistake is the reflexive thing to do. Shifting the blame onto someone or something else so you look better is natural. Snatching up what you think you deserve, even if you do deserve it, is normal.

But humility is unnatural to us. It takes effort to make humility the automatic response instead of pride. To admit you made a mistake, to apologize for it, and to make yourself vulnerable and accountable for it, that is difficult. To take your full and personal responsibility is uncomfortable. To hold yourself back from something, even when you may be within your rights to take it, is grating.

The Bible talks in several places about God hating pride but loving humility (Psalm 119:21, 138:6; Proverbs 16:5 & 19, 21:4; Isaiah 57:15; Matthew 18:4, 23:12; James 4:6 & 10; 1 Peter 5:5-6), but still we struggle between the two. Considering the monumental effort it takes to respond with humility, we’re going to need God’s help.

God knows we need help, so He gives it to us. After all, God Himself is acquainted with humility, with making Himself lower than He really is. In the Old Testament God bound Himself by covenants and promises to humans who frequently disappointed Him and even blatantly rebelled against Him. In the New Testament God the Son came to be one of us, restricting His godly nature and becoming a servant to die for our sakes, submitting Himself to God the Father’s will and not taking His own way. God has never once been proud. Without losing His holiness, God has made Himself low enough for us to reach.

God lowered Himself for us out of love. We should be lowering ourselves for others to show them what God’s love is like. Humbly taking what you don’t deserve is a noticeably strange thing to do. Letting yourself be lower than you really are is a higher calling. In God’s kingdom, being lower is actually being higher (Mark 9:35; Hebrews 11:24-27). You don’t lose when you choose humility, you gain (Proverbs 15:33, 18:12, 22:4; James 4:6-7).

More on humility:
The Master, His Servants, and the Washing of Feet
Being Right