Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

What Is The Ruling Virtue In Our Lives?

DEUTERONOMY 8:3 – And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.

THEME OF THE DAY. WHAT IS THE RULING VIRTUE IN OUR LIVES? He is going to do it. We cannot avoid it. It must be done. It is for our own good. Don’t rebel against it. We need it. And when it starts to take root in our lives, we will be glad for the work regardless of the pain. Apart from our salvation, it is the most important work in our lives. It is what God did to His people of old in today’s scripture. He humbled them to develop humility in them and that same work is being done in us daily. Hopefully, we are paying attention and learning.

Humility is the chief virtue in the Christian life. It is foundational to everything in the Christian life. For fellowship with God, growth in Christ, effective service for Him, and to maintain healthy relationships with people, humility must rule the heart and mind. If it doesn’t the opposite will – pride. And here is a quick way to assess what is the ruling virtue in our lives – pride or humility.

We will know if pride is ruling our lives by at least two things. First, pride controls us when our priority in life is to live for self and self-interests. Take this test. When we have free time, not the time obligated by roles and responsibilities, but time open for us to use as we choose, do we immediately fill it with self-interests, self-pursuits, and self-pleasure? Now, please, I am not saying don’t seek recreation, hobbies, and enjoyment for one’s self. What I am saying is if immediately and consistently we fill up our discretionary time with everything about us, leaving no time to serve the Lord and others, pride rules us. Why? Pride is selfish whereas humility moves us to think of others, to serve others, to place self-interest down on the list, and seek Christ’s interests. Remember these words of the Apostle Paul – Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:3-5).

Another way pride raises its ugly head as the chief virtue in our lives is how quickly we may defend ourselves when criticized, talked about, or accused. Pride is defensive, combative, and won’t entertain for a second whether the criticism or accusation has any measure of truth. Humility says, “Lord, is it truth? If so, thank You for revealing this to me. Please help me to change.” When Jesus was going through His mock trial, facing a barrage of accusations and criticisms, this is how He responded – Now Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus said, “You have said so.” But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he gave no answer. Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many things they testify against you?” But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed (Matthew 27:11-14). Humility lets the Lord be a person’s vindicator. A person in whose heart humility is ruling won’t be quick to defend oneself. Even if it means absorbing hurt by false accusations.

Well, pride or humility. It is either or in our lives. One of them will control us. May the Lord help us to distinguish which and move closer and closer to His likeness as the gentle and humble Savior He is.

PRAYER: “Father, forgive me when I rebel against Your work of humbling me by forgetting this is the greatest work in my life.”

QUOTE: “God loves us so much that He will not allow the most destructive thing in our lives to remain – pride.”