If pride is the basic cause of sin, then humility is the basic virtue.
The devil will fight me tooth and nail to prevent me from resting in perpetual humility.
One of his better techniques is to confuse humility with humiliation. Humiliation is a form of pride. When I have been exposed as weak or ignorant or sinful and feel less worthwhile as a result then I feel humiliated. This is clear evidence that my worth, hope and security come from my own performance and not from God’s acceptance of me .
Humility is very different from humiliation. With humiliation when my weakness is seen, I feel terrible and try to deny and defend or just fall into despair. With humility when my weakness is seen I feel full of joy and gratitude that God loves me and is bigger than all my sin.
To acknowledge my struggle with sin and have a sense of worth and hope; is to be humble.
Humility is liking myself, choosing to attack the current moment with energy and rejoicing in the future when the only basis for this is the love power and grace of Jesus and clearly not my own ability.
Non Christians can only have humiliation/pride or puffed up/pride, they can not be humble, because humility requires grace. They will either feel superior to others or worthless based on their own performance.
At the point of salvation I admit that I am the world’s worst sinner and deserve eternal separation from God; but I ask for and accept salvation owing it all to the finished work of Jesus. This is the first baby step into humility.
As I go along in the Christian walk, my awareness of my weak foolish sinful nature grows but my ability to see, picture, and act in who I am in Christ also grows. The blessed and growing gap between the two is my humility, the measure of my gratitude and the reason that I do not judge others as worthless or hopeless.
Both ends of the balance of my sin and Gods’ love lead to imbalance.
If I think that I needed salvation but I was not, “that bad” and that God got a pretty good deal in me then, clearly I am still proud.
If I think that, “Maybe God loves me but, “big deal!” My sins as so great that they are bigger than God’s grace and I continue to wallow in self contempt, continue to try to pay for my sins and show myself strong: then I am in the clutches of Pride.
I must keep my eyes on Jesus and find dynamic balance. If I get cocky, I remember who I am without grace. If I get discouraged and down on myself, I remember who I am in Christ.
“Dear Lord, show me more and more of the enormity of my weakness, foolishness and debt and the enormity of your power and grace in my life.”