Babylon was the largest, most spectacular city of the ancient world—a city of incredible beauty, wealth, and power, the "glory of kingdoms" (Isa 13:19). But according to the Bible, the city had one major flaw: Its rulers and people were arrogant (Jer. 50:31). In pride, the Babylonians "promoted their own honor" and relied on their own strength (Hab. 1:7, 11).
What about you? Is your heart filled with pride or with humility? C.S. Lewis once said, "If anyone would like to acquire humility, I can, I think, tell him the first step. The first step is to realize that one is proud. And a biggish step, too."The following list, based on Isaiah 47:5-10, outlines some of the prideful attitudes of the Babylonians. Take a "biggish step" toward humility by examining the list and asking God to show you whether you are guilty of these faulty attitudes. Put a check beside any you have.
[ ] Self-promoting: "Look at me ... see how great I am!" (v. 5).
[ ] Self-righteous: "My actions are justified. You deserve to be treated poorly" (v. 6).
[ ] Self-assured: "I have what it takes! I am in control!" (v. 7).
[ ] Self-enamored: "I deserve to be pampered and treated like royalty" (v. 7).
[ ] Self-indulgent: "I will not deny myself pleasure or be inconvenienced" (v. 8).
[ ] Self-absorbed: "My wants and desires are the most important thing" (v. 8).
[ ] Self-secure: "Failure and misfortune won't happen to me. I will get what I want" (v. 8).
[ ] Self-reliant: "I can control and manipulate circumstances to my advantage" (v. 9).
[ ] Self-satisfied: "I've got it all together. I know what I'm doing" (v. 10).
[ ] Self-determined: "I will do what I want. I don't care what you think!" (v. 10).
[ ] Self-centered: "It's all about me—my feelings, my wants, and my desires" (v. 10).
How did you do? Are any of these prideful attitudes present in your heart?
Make a habit of examining your heart on an ongoing basis. As the Bible says, "Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble'" (1 Pet. 5:5).