This week we continue our four-part series on Thomas Charles, pride, and humility. In this episode, we jump right into Thomas Charles' third point on pride and humility. To hear the first and second points, listen to last week’s episode.
Pride and Humility act differently.
Pride brings about irreverent boldness. But humility brings only godly fear and holy reverence toward God and respect toward men. Even the angels, who are sinless, are humbled before God. God is our Creator, far above us, and we are the created, constantly depending on Him. God is infinitely kind, sending His only Son to become like us and to save us. This ought to bring us to our knees in humble adoration.
Even our religion can lead to spiritual pride. Head knowledge without heart experience will always make us proud. We can be either proud or humble in our attitude towards those who are our equals (at pace with us in the Christian life), those beyond us (further ahead in the Christian life), or those behind us (newer Christians). All of us walk in the light of His grace and therefore have no room to boast.
Thomas Charles writes, “Did Christ humble Himself to make us proud?”
We ought to be the humble disciples of a humble Master. The proud are swift to speak, believing everyone wants to hear what they think. But the humble are slow to speak and quick to listen.
Questions to consider:
Are you offended when people question you?
Does it bother you when people don’t think well of you?
Do you like people who like you best?
When you look at someone doing something else, do you think you could do it better? Do you have a secret satisfaction when you see someone else failing in the same career as you, the same denomination as you, because it makes you look better?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are proud. This does not mean you are not a believer. But if you see evidences of pride and are content to “leave it there,” you may not be a true believer. But if these convictions eventually lead to a true sorrow, a true desire to be humble before God, then you demonstrate a changed heart.
Whoever loves to be first, like Diotraphes, is a stumbling block to others. We are called not to be first, but to serve like our Savior.
May the Lord make and keep us humble.
The Calvinistic Fathers of Wales by John Morgan Jones
Thomas Charles Spiritual Counsels by Edward Morgan
The Existence and Attributes of God by Stephen Charnock