The Chief Virtue

“If pride is the greatest and essential sin, then humility is the supreme virtue; and if huhumilitymility was the distinguishing feature of the Master, then it must characterize the disciple, for ‘the servant is not greater than his lord’ (John 13:16).” – Oswald Sanders, The Incomparable Christ, 109.

Humility is a virtue that everyone Christian knows is important to possess, but not everyone is willing to cultivate. Pride is an inherent quality in every one of us and therefore comes easy for us. We inherited pride from Adam. We have learned well how to feed our pride, how to garner friendships which stroke our pride, and how to remove or bypass those things which attack our pride.

Pride is what leads us into sin; humility is what leads us to Christ.

Pride is what stymies the work of grace in our lives; humility is the conduit of grace.

Pride is what keeps us from being effective for Christ; humility is necessary for effective service.

Pride tells us “it is your choice; do what you want;” humility says “what do you want me to do, Lord?”

Pride deceives people into thinking they are great; humility is an essential quality of greatness.

Our Lord Jesus Christ is “lowly of heart” (Matthew 11:29), and calls all of his followers to humble themselves as well. This humility recognizes our place in this world and in this universe. We are not God, nor are we little gods. We have no personal rights, but have responsibilities before God, our Master. We die to self, and live unto Christ.

Humility must be cultivated even when we are confronted with our sinful choices, when we are confronted with dangerous and/or unwise decisions, when we are challenged to think Biblically rather than emotionally, and when demands are placed upon us that we do not like nor want to do.

Humility does not speak every word that comes into our minds; humility thinks about whether or not those words are filled with grace, humility, and Christ-like love. Humility is not silent, but neither is it brazen, brash, or rude.

For the Christian, humility is the chief virtue. It is what characterized our Lord’s life and it should be the life pursuit of every one of his followers as well. It is time for God’s people to get serious about humility, the chief of the Christian virtues.

“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus…” (Phlippians 2:5).


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