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Humbler than Thou
Theme of the Week: Who's Number One?
Jeffrey A. Leever
Sunday, February 29, 2004

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Key Bible Verse: Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself (Philippians 2:3). Bonus reading:Philippians 2:1 –11

Ever been glad you don't have a problem with pride like so-and-so? The problem may be closer to home than you think.

In C.S. Lewis' classic book The Screwtape Letters, an elder demon counsels another on how to bring down a Christian man: "Catch him at the moment when he is really poor in spirit and smuggle into his mind the gratifying reflection, 'By golly! I'm being humble,' and almost immediately pride–pride at his own humility–will appear. If he awakens to the danger and tries to smother this new form of pride, make him proud of his attempt–and so on, through as many stages as you please."

It's easy to miss this tactic, yet we readily identify and cringe at others' pride. The Apostle Paul gave us a tough standard when he wrote [today's Key Bible Verse] to the church in Philippi.

Proverbs 29:23 adds, "Pride ends in humiliation, while humility brings honor." As a man, though, seeking humility for the sake-of honor can easily morph into another form of pride. If Satan can't tempt us into being prideful through the standard masculine sources–work, money, success, power, women–expect him to try other ways. As Lewis might say: Once you get humility don't get too proud of it.

–Jeffrey A. Leever

Prayer for the Week
Lord, help me to remember your ultimate example of humility. May this example allow me to put others' considerations ahead of my own.

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