I remember seeing Mac Davis once on The Muppet Show back in the day. The only other thing I know about him is the first two lines of one of his more popular songs. Here is the chorus:
Oh Lord it’s hard to be humble When you’re perfect in every way I can’t wait to look in the mirror ’Cos I get better lookin each day To know me is to love me I must be a hell of a man Oh Lord it’s hard to be humble But I’m doin’ the best that I can
The Apostle Peter would agree with the first line. Here’s what he says about humility and how to overcome it.
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on himbecause he cares for you. 8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.(1st Peter 5:6-7, NIV)
A closer look shows that Peter is telling the early Christians how they can be humble during suffering. In the original language there is no new sentence at verse 7. In other words, the command Peter is giving is verse six is continued in verse seven. We humble ourselves by casting our cares on Jesus, despite our tendency to believe he doesn’t care about what we are going through.
Coincidentally, he identifies pride as when we try to provide for things for ourselves when Jesus seems to be absent (i.e., self-worth, broken relationships, occupation). We take it on ourselves to do things our way instead of trusting Jesus to come through for us. Since we trust in ourselves, we get the glory when things seem to work out.
Humility is important for many reasons, but Peter gives a great one here. God has designed humility as the tool the enables us to resist Satan’s attacks. By throwing our cares on Jesus we enable ourselves to be aware of Satan’s attacks as we seriously take on the great commission he has given us, and we let Jesus take care of our concerns of this world – freeing us up to pursue that commission with vigor.
So, Mac was partially correct. It’s difficult to be humble. But, the answer is within reach.