Blog Posts on Pride & Humility

God Has Two Hands

Josh Etter

John Calvin comments on 1 Peter 5:5:

We are to imagine that; God has two hands; the one, which like a hammer beats down and breaks in pieces those who raise up themselves; and the other, which raises up the humble who willingly let down themselves, and is like a firm prop to sustain them. Were we really convinced of this, and had it deeply fixed in our minds, who
Continue Reading

Shine Your Light or Hide Your Hand

Jon Bloom

Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16 ESV)

But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. (Matthew 6:3-4 ESV)

A friend…

Continue Reading

Contrived Humility Vs. Humility from Faith

Mark Priestap

Have you ever found yourself in prayer pleading a case before God when you suddenly get a sick feeling that either God is not listening or he’s not willing to hear you? What do you do when that happens? Hopefully you haven’t followed my example.

I have recently become painfully aware of a tendency of mine, when feeling inadequate to approach God, to try to bend his will through tears…

Continue Reading

Success Can Be Perilous

Jon Bloom

We are never more vulnerable to sin than when we are successful, admired by others, and prosperous, as King David tragically discovered.

It was spring again. David once had loved warm, fragrant spring afternoons on the palace roof. But this year the scent of almond blossoms smelled like deep regret. 

David had no desire to look toward Uriah’s empty house. If only he had not looked that way a year…

Continue Reading

Why Do We Crave to Be Praised?

John Piper

Here is the answer of the poet Oliver Goldsmith (1730-1774), from his poem "The Traveler."

For praise too dearly loved, or warmly sought,
Enfeebles all internal strength of thought;
And the weak soul, within itself unblessed,
Leans for all pleasure on another’s breast.

So close and yet, I fear, so far. For Goldsmith means we are unblessed because we do not bless ourselves.

The mind still turns where shifting fashion…

Continue Reading

Lewis and Edwards on the Layers of Self-Admiration

John Piper

As a new Christian in 1930, C. S. Lewis was learning terrible things about his heart—the unfathomable layers of pride. It is astonishing how similar his description of his own heart was to the description Jonathan Edwards gave of our inscrutable strata of self-admiration.

Here is Lewis writing to his friend Arthur, amazingly within a year after his conversion:

During my afternoon “meditations,”—which I at least attempt quite regularly now—I…

Continue Reading

My Happy Confession of Having No Merit

John Piper

This is my confession:

I was born into a believing family through no merit of my own at all.

I was given a mind to think and a heart to feel through no merit of my own at all.

I was brought into the hearing of the gospel through no merit of my own at all.

My rebellion was subdued, my hardness removed, my blindness overcome, and my deadness awakened…

Continue Reading

Clarence Thomas’s God-Centered Submission

John Piper

Clarence Thomas was confirmed to be a Supreme Court Justice on October 15, 1991 after one of the most divisive confirmation battles in history. He tells the story movingly in his autobiography My Grandfather’s Son.

What many may not know is how he handled the tidal wave of lurid accusation and public humiliation. Here is what he said.

I had been reading Bible verses all summer, and as the…

Continue Reading

From Protest to Praise

David Mathis

An amazing progression occurs in the 3 short chapters of Habakkuk.

The book begins with the prophet protesting that God seems to be standing idly by while his people in Judah plummet into rampant evil and injustice (1:2–5).

God responds that it’s not going unnoticed, and, to Habakkuk’s surprise, God’s already attending to it—by raising up the wicked Chaldeans, “that bitter and hasty nation," to punish Judah (1:5-11).

Habakkuk protests…

Continue Reading

Never Be Wise In Your Own Sight

John Piper

If a twelve-year-old makes A’s in school and generally makes wise choices, how would you help her apply this verse to herself?

Never be wise in your own sight. (Romans 12:16)

You might say:

  1. It means that you gladly admit that all true wisdom is from God. It is his, and not finally ours.
  2. It means that you recognize that any sense of superiority comes from comparing yourself only with…
Continue Reading