What happens when our families begin to exhibit positive character in juxtaposition to the poor character shown by some of our friends and family? How do we keep our children and ourselves from becoming puffed up with pride?
How do we ward off an “I’m better than you attitude?”
Are you dreading the annual family Christmas party because the other attendees won’t be behaving the same way your family behaves? Are you watching the overspending of your friends and comparing it to your own self-control? If so, you’re lacking an essential character quality and one that can destroy all the hard work you’ve put into character growth.
The answer is found in the character quality of humility. Humility is that trait that keeps us from pride and conceit. Humility always considers other people’s feelings and personhood as more important than our own. Humility keeps us focused on our own weaknesses and need for Christ. Pride keeps us focused on the failings of others.
Do you struggle with pride? Sometimes, life will conspire to help us with our pride problem. I can’t even count how many times I was reminded to be humble by a child’s bad choices, an ill-spoken word, or baby barf on my sweater. Life can be humbling.
Sometimes though, we need more than the simple circumstances of our lives to remind us that we have nothing for which to be proud. Perhaps it is our children who need a quick reminder that although they are developing great character, that doesn’t give them any special bragging rights.
How do we develop humility?
Here’s a quick and simple idea. Check out some books from the library that are biographies of famous statesmen, warriors, and inventors. As you read about the hard work, diligence, integrity, and sacrifice that went into their achievements, I guarantee you’ll grow in humility! No matter how much we strive to become better, there are always others who have worked harder, waited longer, and sacrificed more than us.
Even more to the point, study the life of Christ. As you realize all that He did for you and how humbly He lived, served, and sacrificed, your pride will be destroyed. Remember, God opposes the proud and our pride will only turn others away from Him, instead of toward Him.
The truth is this: Our character development has nothing to do with anyone else.
We develop character because it is important to us! We develop character because we want to be like our Savior. What others do is their business and theirs alone. When we remember that and compare our growth with how far we still have to go… We can't help but remain humble.
The best character in the world will be negated by a prideful and arrogant attitude. Don’t destroy your reputation by clinging to pride. Consider yourself soberly and work hard to grow your character with a sweet attitude of humility.