Q: I've heard that the Bible says somewhere that we should try to be humble, but how do you go about doing it? I admit I have a problem with pride sometimes, but I'm not sure I know how to deal with it. - H.R.W.
A: Every sin is serious in God's eyes - but pride is among the most serious, because it's at the heart of so many other sins. Jealousy, hatred, greed, envy, lust, selfishness - these and countless other sins come from a prideful spirit - a desire to lift up ourselves at the expense of others.
This is why the Bible urges us to be humble and avoid the dangers of pride. The Bible says, "Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up" (James 4:10). What does it mean to be humble? It doesn't mean we tear ourselves down, or refuse to use the abilities and gifts God has given us. Instead it means we don't look down on others or act in a prideful way toward those who may not be as gifted as we are. The Bible says, "Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment" (Romans 12:3).
How do you gain a humble spirit? The key is to compare yourself with God, not other people. You can always find someone who's less gifted than you - but when you compare yourself to God, you'll discover true humility. God says, "I live... with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit" (Isaiah 57:15).
Begin by committing your life to Jesus Christ, admitting that you are a sinner and need His forgiveness. Then keep your eyes focused on Him every day, through prayer and the Bible and fellowship with other believers.
Affectionately known as the "World's Preacher" for more than 60 years, the Rev. Billy Graham is one of the most influential and respected spiritual leaders of the 20th century. He has been a friend and spiritual advisor to ten American presidents and has preached the Gospel to more people in live audiences than anyone else in history - nearly 215 million people in more than 185 countries and territories - through various meetings. Hundreds of millions more have been reached through television, video, film, and webcasts. Send your queries to "My Answer," c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit the Web site for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association: www.billygraham.org.