If you have never read CJ Mahaney's book HUMILITY, then it's time to make room on your reading list--like around #1 position. No kidding--this book is short, sweet, sharp, and very much to the point. No really--it IS short (only about 150 pages and very small pages at that), sweet (in the sense that it gives us so many ideas for how to be more sweet *smile*), sharp (meaning intelligent) and to the point--well that's sort of self-explanatory.
Humility. As soon as you think you have it down--you're prideful to even be thinking that. And when you don't have it down, you don't have it down, and are therefore being prideful! It seems this elusive character quality is impossible to achieve.
It IS indeed impossible.
And this is where I realized that humility and the Gospel are so inseparable, that trying to have humility without the Gospel is like trying to swim when there's no water, or trying to breathe when there's no air. It's impossible! Our works of piety on our own accord are completely abhorrent to God because they reek of pride, and our own sinful propensity to think we are just amazing if we do something right.
And so without the Gospel, there is hopelessness for humility. Don't discount the Gospel! It's not just the first building block in your walk as a Christian, it's the entire framework! We never outgrow it as Christians, and we never stop needing it--every second of every day. What struck me most about Mahaney's book was how he never failed to being the saving grace of the Gospel into every point he made on humility.
Basically, we have a need so great that only Christ and his Word can fill it in our soul. But even once He has filled that desire, every day the temptations to do evil will overwhelm our defenses. And here's the greatest mystery of all of this... Our INADEQUACY and INABILITY to be humble on our own leads us to the only way we CAN be humble: in acknowledging that we are not! God loves working like this (check out 1 Corinthians 1).
I could go round and round on this--in circles. But the bottom line is, that if we keep our eyes fixed on Christ and what HE and not WE have accomplished, we will indeed be humble! He promises it.
Be encouraged in that today, and keep your eyes fixed on Jesus Christ. It's that simple.