The Problem of Pride and Humility

I’m convicted once again by the words of J.C. Ryle as he comments on Christ’s statement:  If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. Jesus is telling the disciples it is one thing to know a truth, it is another to put it into practice, to which Ryle writes:

“The lesson is one which deserves the continual remembrance of all professing Christians. Nothing is more common than to hear people saying of doctrine or duty, — ‘We know it, we know it;’ while they sit still in unbelief and disobedience. They actually seem to flatter themselves that there is something credible and redeeming in knowledge, even when it bears no fruit in heart, character or life. 

“Yet the truth is precisely the other way. To know what we ought to be, believe, and do, and yet to be unaffected by our knowledge, only adds to our guilt in the sight of God. To know that Christians should be humble and loving, while we continue proud and selfish, will only sink us deeper in the pit, unless we awake and repent. Practice, in short, is the very life of religion. ‘Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin,‘ (James 4:17).

It takes great maturity to realize our constant need for humility. It took Christ washing the feet of the disciples to show us this truth. Yet, how many of us as believers still want to live the “exalted life?” Why? Why do we want this when Christ Himself, laid aside His garments, took on the form of a bondservant (a slave), and performed the lowest job of the slaves by washing the feet of the disciples?

Humility is to be the constant trait of the believer, yet so many of us are prideful. I’m thankful to J.C. Ryle for the reminder.

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