Thor and Pride
Humility: once you think you have it, you've lost it.
Have you seen Thor?
Thor recently came out on DVD and I took a break from ministry to watch it with Jess. It is not a bad movie, good for a bit of action but not as good as other recent superhero movies (in my opinion). However the main theme of the movie was the issue of pride.
Thor arrogantly takes his friends and attempts to fight his sworn enemy. He manages to escape, despite near death for him and his friends. But his punishment from his father is banishment. Thor is stripped of his super powers and exiled to earth to teach him some humility before being crowned king. Eventually Thor must acknowledge his own shortcomings in order to help save the day.
The problem with humility
Of course the biggest problem with humility is that once you think you have it, you probably don’t. In the final dialogue between Thor and his father, Thor says ”one day father, I hope to make you proud”, which suggests that he hasn’t fully understood humility. Whereas his father knows that humility is what leads to true greatness.
Lessons in humility
As I endeavour to weaken my pride there are some helpful lessons to take on from this movie.
Lesson 1: Sometimes we need our pride to be pointed out.
One of the hardest things about pride is that it makes you blind to its very existence. Too often we can be too proud to acknowledge that we are proud. So it takes someone else to point it out to us. So one great way to practice humility is to have a close friend who can honestly tell you when you are being proud or arrogant.
Lesson 2: It is an ongoing battle.
Your pride isn’t defeated after just one battle. Saying sorry for your pride on one occasion doesn’t solve the problem. To defeat our pride takes deep transformation of the heart. A change that takes constant work of the Spirit and prayer to God to take effect. It won’t happen overnight so you have to keep on your guard.
Lesson 3: Our father looks to those who are humble.
Just like Thor’s father, our heavenly Father sees great value in the virtue of humility. This should give us the most motivation to work on humility, knowing it will please our Father. God, who sent his son to die for our sin. Here is some scripture that points to God’s view of the humble person:
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. (James 4:10)
Has not my hand made all these things,
and so they came into being?”
declares the LORD.
“This is the one I esteem:
he who is humble and contrite in spirit,
and trembles at my word. (Isaiah 66:2)
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth. (Matthew 5:5)