How to Be Humble When Pride Rears Up

I really wish that humility could be an actual piece of “clothing”…that I could put on and wear for all to see.

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Lately, God has been dealing with my “pride.” Ugh!

That’s such an ugly word and admission!


I guess you could say, “It hurts my pride to say that I struggle with pride!”

How’s that for a contradiction?! 

This ugly realization is leading me to find ways to live out humility, especially when pride rears its “ugly head” in my life again.

In 1 Peter 5:5b6, it says,

“All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’ Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”

I don’t know about you but I could really use God’s grace right about now. But being humble is never an easy, obvious, and clear-cut proposition or act.

I really wish that humility could be an actual piece of “clothing”maybe like a humble hoodie—that I could put on and wear for all to see.

Then I’d know without a doubt when it’s wrapped around me, right?

And since it’s a hoodie, I could cover that “ugly prideful head” whenever it rears up in my life too!

But there’s a problem with this plan.

Wouldn’t I be canceling out the very humility I thought I was wearing as soon as I believed that I was being humble? 

Do you remember Jesus’ parable about the Pharisee and the Tax Collector in Luke 18:9-14?

In this parable, the Pharisee prayed loudly for all to hear about the many ways he had been obedient and righteous, comparing himself to the lowly tax collector who was also praying nearby.

However, there was a huge difference between the prayers and attitudes of these two men.

In contrast to the Pharisee’s prideful ramblings, the tax collector beat his breast and cried for God’s mercy.

Here’s a t-shirt that I think this Pharisee would have wanted to wear all around the temple courts!

What do you think?

And although I might want to attribute this slogan to the prideful Pharisee, more times than not, I’m the one living out this foolish notion.

I’m being “prideful” because I think I’m being “humble.”

Humility is one of those character qualities, fueled by God, that is absolutely essential to a healthy and thriving marriage.

That’s because we all will act in prideful ways from time to time, especially toward our spouses in the conflicts of marriage. We all need humility so that we can forgive and find healing for these hurts that come when pride rears up in our spouses.

If we allow pride to remain, we cannot forgive. We cannot see our faults. And we cannot receive God’s grace for every wound, trial, and conflict in marriage. 1 Peter 5:5b-6 

So, when you feel pride rising up within you, I hope you’ll remember this along with me . . .

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.  — Ephesians 4:32

Recognizing that you’re just as much of a sinner as your offender—your spouse—frees you to extend mercy like Christ extended mercy to you. That’s when you can experience true healing! A healing that only Christ, His mercy and grace can do in your heart and marriage!

Won’t you join me in praying and responding to our spouses and other offenders like the humble tax collector rather than like the Pharisee?

God will certainly bless our efforts when we respond like His Son!




This is an updated edition of a post originally published on Messy Marriage

Featured Image by Diana Simumpande on Unsplash


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