It’s easy to react to pride with pride. It happens from the highest tier of society to the lowest. People like to watch the rich and famous celebrities when they fail. “Aha,” they say. “So their lives are falling apart as well. At least I still have [x, y or z] still together.” People may feel sorry for the poor and homeless, but they actually like that they exist. “My hard work has paid off,” they say. “If only they had the will to work as hard as I.” At least, these are the easiest attitudes to have. I hope that they wouldn’t be, but this is the way it turns out most of the time in our world. Everyone seems to be thinking, “I am better than you,” for some reason or another.
There is a better way of reacting to someone’s pride. We can love them out of it. If we have the Spirit of God living in us, this should be our natural response. The first fruit of the Spirit is love. When someone has pridefully exalted himself, our real love can rise to meet them. If they fall, our loving arms can catch them. This is very difficult, and it goes against everything the world would try to teach us. That’s why we need God to help us do it! His light inside of us drives out darkness all around. Darkness literally cannot exist when light has brilliantly entered the room.
We follow the example of Christ. He voluntarily suffered the worst injustice of all time–for our sake. He humbled Himself so that we would have the right to live! He went to the cross because He loved us and wanted the very best for us. When we love, we put to death our own pride, hopefully causing the death of the pride all around us. Through the act of love, new hearts are born. New affections are created. We become one with each other. We see God and believe together.
“And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”–Philippians 2:8-11