Everyone recognizes pride when someone is bragging about themselves or blowing their own horn, as they say. My question is did you realize it is pride when someone is always putting themselves down? It is sort of like a stick, and one end is boasting while the other end is berating.
In Romans 12 we read, “Not to think more highly of yourself than you ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment.” Then turning to Romans 8:1 we see “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” It appears that to have a correct assessment of ourselves means we are neither puffed up nor deflated. We aren’t running around saying, “look at how great I am,” nor are we saying, “Don’t look at me because I’m no good.” Some people will say, “I’m just shy.” Well, self consciousness is still pride because it is self-focused. The solution to the pride issue is clear. We take our eyes off of ourselves and put them on Christ. The plan all along has been for us to be Christ conscious instead of self-conscious.
Being self focused appears to be the root problem with us humans. In the Garden of Eden immediately after Adam disobeyed God he became self-conscious. He saw that he was naked and became ashamed. He was already naked yet not ashamed until sin came in. Once sin took up residence within, pride took center stage in our fallen state. From that moment on, we have either been talking too highly of ourselves or degrading ourselves. The point is we have been completely selfish and self focused. Some people are their own biggest fan. Jesus told us how to become something in his kingdom. He said, “The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.” Once again, the way of the world is shown to be completely contrary to the way of God’s kingdom. The way to the top in God’s kingdom is to be others focused.
Some have a false humility that says, “I’m no good” but that is just the opposite side of saying “I’m the best.” We replace our self, sin-consciousness with a Christ and his righteousness consciousness. We are told to “look unto” or “fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith.” If we learn to keep our eyes on him we will soon lose sight of ourselves. We are as the moon. We shine a light that isn’t our own and when the Sun, or Son, comes into view our light is completely swallowed up. Let me end by saying, “Being humble isn’t thinking less of yourself it’s thinking of yourself less.”