In Heath Lambert’s Finally Free: Fighting For Purity With the Power of Grace (excellent book on sexual integrity from a faith-based perspective), the author makes a provocative statement: “Only arrogant men look at pornography.” It sounds harsh! What about my trauma, loneliness, and boredom? What about unprecedented temptation made possible by the internet? Historically, theologians agree that pride is a master vice that enables all other vices. And how we medicate our pain and navigate our circumstances reveals a lot about our character.
Pride manifests as an open disregard for God. When we disobey God, we are effectively saying , “I couldn’t care less about you.” Pride also manifests as an open disregard for others. When we act in a manner that damages our ability to love others, we are effectively saying, “I couldn’t care less about others.” Our worst moments do not define us. There’s more to the story. But if we struggle in an area, it is instructive to identify our other moral shortcomings so we don’t neglect to work on those also. (Below, I explain how this is a hopeful realization for people who struggle with pornography, because it supplies more tools with which to grow!)
Finally, pride creates the illusion that we are immune from the consequences of our actions. In extreme cases, it can lead people to believe that they can get away with murder. Indeed, when pride is at play, people will make the lowest-probability decisions expecting the highest-probability outcomes. Humility, on the other hand, brings us in line with reality and motivates wise decision-making.
We think we can get away with lying, cheating, stealing, lusting, treating people poorly, and making unwise life decisions. Sure, others reap what they sow, but we’re essentially different than them so we don’t need to pay attention.I Am Not The Exception To The Rule (4 Toxic Beliefs That Destroy Destinies)
In advanced cases, pride shows up as the belief that the ordinary rules of life don’t apply to a person as great as me… Paul speaks to this as well: “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life” (Gal 6:7-8).From “Humility Practice” By Jacob Hudgins
When we think of pride, we may think of someone showing off or speaking harshly. However, pride is often a quiet, anonymous decision to do wrong when no one is looking. And it can wreak great havoc in our hearts and relationships.
Growing In Humility To Defeat Lust
Here’s the good news. By growing in humility, we can grow in sexual integrity. A few months ago, I published 7 Offensive Weapons To Defeat Lust. In it, I identified fasting, meditation, diet, gratitude, physical activity, spending time with people, and spending time with God as keys to get out in front of this issue. I could just as well have included humility atop the list. Indeed, the more humble we are, the less we will medicate our emotions and seek out impulsive pleasure in ways that disregard God, damage ourselves, and impair our ability to love others.
The million dollar question is, How do we grow in humility?
There’s an excellent book on this topic by a pastor based out of Texas named Jacob Hudgins. It is entitled Humility Practice: 27 Ways to Think Less of Yourself–and of Yourself Less. Below you can find the book cover and table of contents, which summarizs some of the specific actions we can take every day to cultivate humility.
You can check out 40 Best Quotes From Humility Practice: 27 Ways To Think Less of Yourself and of Yourself Less” by Jacob Hudgins, although I recommend you get a copy of the book from Amazon!
In case the image is not clear enough, they are 1.) Confess a sin; 2.) Pray for someone; 3.) Admit you don’t know; 4.) Skip a meal; 5.) Read the Bible for no reason; 6.) Take the lowest place; 7.) Consider the other side; 8.) Disagree respectfully; 9.) Compliment someone; 10.) Do a good deed secretly; 11.) Let someone else decide; 12.) Refuse to complain; 13.) Be nice to someone undeserving; 14.) Apply the Bible to your faults; 15.) Question your anger; 16.) Say thank you; 17.) Ask for advice–and follow it; 18.) Serve someone; 19.) Give a soft answer; 20.) Let it go; 21.) Deflect a compliment; 22.) Worship; 23.) Hold your tongue; 24.) Remember your roots; 25.) Notice your green grass; 26.) Shine the spotlight on others; 27.) Wait.
Conclusion: Ask “Is it I Lord?”
God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.James 4:6