Oh Lord—It’s Hard to be Humble!

A good friend of Jenny and mine loved the old country song by Mac Davis , “O, Lord, it’s hard to be humble.” (1980)

You can watch a hilarious version here wth the Muppets on Youtube:

(Or if the video doesn’t show up on your screen, then click here.)

Our friend would sing the chorus with a deep irony consistent with what the writer no doubt intended. It reads:

O, Lord, it’s hard to be humble
When you’re perfect in every way
I can’t wait to look in the mirror
‘Cus I get better looking each day

To know me is to love me
I must be a hell of a man
O, Lord, it’s hard to be humble
I’m doing the best that I can.

I’m not sure about you, but I still chuckle every time I read or sing those words. There is something humorous about trying to be humble when you think you are pretty good to start with.

The irony comes from the almost certainty that if you think you’re humble, you’re probably not! Trying to be humble, as the song alludes, does not necessarily increase humility. In fact, the opposite is likely to be the truth. The very moment you think you have arrived you haven’t. For all your effort the only thing you’ve achieved is to increase your pride.

Yet, throughout the New Testament we are encouraged, if not commanded to be humble. Peter tells us, “be humble” (1Peter 3:8). So does Paul, “be completely humble” (Ephesians 4:2). Being humble is obviously very important and aiming for humility something to be attempted. But how do we go about it if all that happens is less humility and more pride?

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