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Like Steps on a Ladder

December 12, 2019

God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. 1 Peter 5:5 (NIV)

Back in the 12th century there was a monk by the name of Bernard of Clairvaux. He was asked by a friend to write a book on humility. Bernard said he didn’t know enough about humility to write about it, but he could write about how we fall into pride.

Humility and pride are like steps on a ladder. Pride takes you up. Humility takes you down. But the steps are the same. So, he wrote a book called The Twelve Steps of Humility and Pride. Here are three of them:

1. Curiosity
The curious person looks up to some as his betters (envy) and he looks down on others (scorn) as his inferiors. Both are examples of pride because love of one’s own excellence brings him distress when others surpass him, but it brings him joy when he surpasses others.

2. Levity

The proud person is never sorrowful. His silly levity totally controls him. He acts like a buffoon, he looks like a court jester, and he swaggers around over-concerned with his appearance. If you want to live a Christian life, you must find time to be serious and to search your own soul.

3. Presumption
This is the person who…airs his ideas in a loud and lofty tone. He cuts in on the person talking, without allowing him to finish speaking. He reopens discussions of subjects that have been settled, and he goes over work that has been completed. He thinks that nothing is properly organized or correctly carried out unless he has organized or executed it himself.

Where could you take a step down?

The Author
Colin Smith

Colin Smith is the senior pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. He has authored a number of books, including Heaven, How I Got Here and Heaven, So Near - So Far. Colin is the president and teacher for Unlocking the Bible. Follow him on Twitter.

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