By Cameron Silsbee and Ariel Villaseñor
Begin with prayer
Gather together as a Community in a comfortable setting. Take a moment to sit in silence in the presence of Jesus and each other. Have one person read James 1v22-25 over the group and then pray to ask the Holy Spirit to lead and guide your time together.
Read this overview
A quick survey of Scripture reveals a consistent thread sometimes referred to as the reversal of place, in which those who would often be considered to be in a high position are compared and contrasted with those of low position or social value. Pride and humility are two parts of this thread that can be traced through both the Old and New Testaments.
Pride is described as an arrogantly superior attitude that ensnares, produces cynicism and disdain – ultimately leading to destruction. It is self-serving, stubborn, born out of shame, and a product of sin. God cannot be on the side of selfish ambition.
Humility, on the other hand, is an all-encompassing internal and external posture. A humble person follows the way of Jesus, simultaneously seeking to love others, be a peacemaker, and to work out justice in the world. Humble people see themselves as God’s beloved image bearer who cannot do anything apart from God.
Ultimately, as Jacob and other authors of the Scriptures write, God resists the proud. But as we pursue humility, we find more than just a character trait – in humility, we see and experience God’s lavish grace in our lives.
Talk through the following discussion questions:
- How do you typically differentiate between pride that is incompatible with the way of Jesus and being appropriately proud of a particular effort, achievement, or action?
- Have you noticed any tell-tale signs of pride in areas of your life? If so, what are they? (e.g., looking down on others, an unwillingness to listen and consider someone else’s point of view, the tendency to want to bring up the thing you are prideful about, not wanting to address parts of your life that deep down you know need healing, etc.)
Read this week’s Practice:
Set aside time twice in the next week to sit with the Scriptures and reflect on your own life.
Each time, take a moment to invite God’s Spirit to speak over you as you read the Scriptures. As you read the texts, what behaviors, attitudes, or achievements come to mind as you reflect on your own pride?
- Psalm 18v27-29
- Proverbs 3v32-35
- Isaiah 57v14-15
- Luke 1v51-53
- Luke 14v7-11
As you process what comes to mind in this time, consider reaching out to someone trusted (someone in your Van City Community, a spouse, friend, etc.) and tell them what you’ve been thinking about and any conclusions you’ve come to. Ask the person for any insight or pushback they may have in response.