John Piper makes the point in Future Grace that anxiety often flows from weak pride. He says,
“When pride is not strong, it begins to worry about the future. In the heart of the proud, anxiety is to the future what self-pity is to the past. What did not go well in the past gives us a sense that we deserve better. But if we could not make things go our way in the past, we may not be able to in the future either. Instead of making the proud humble, this possibility makes them anxious.”
(Piper, Future Grace, 93.)
I have long held that the twin virtues of a Christian man are humility and courage. So I was especially intrigued to see Piper’s connection of pride and anxiety, the negation of each of these. On a personal level, there has been perhaps no time in my life that is as uncertain as this month; I am racked with anxiety. So, Piper’s reminder comes at a crucial time for me. It is through a restored and grounded humility that I will have the confidence to do difficult and risky things.
Valley of Vision, “Humiliation”:
When I am afraid of evils to come, comfort me, by showing me
that in myself I am a dying, condemned wretch,
but that in Christ I am reconciled, made alive, and satisfied;
that I am feeble and unable to do any good,
but that in him I can do all things;
that what I now have in Christ is mine in part,
but shortly I shall have it perfectly in heaven.