Jesus ‘was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin’ (Heb. 4:15). The temptation for Jesus to submit to the crowd and exalt Himself must have been there but He didn’t respond to it. He came to do the Father’s will and not His own will (Jn. 6:38). He immediately withdrew from everyone and spent all night in prayer with His Father. Prolonged prayer is an antidote for the temptation of pride and will work a God-type of humility in your life.
In Galatians 2:20, Paul is preaching a death to self, but it is very important to notice how this death took place. Paul said he was dead through what Jesus did. He experienced this death by simply reckoning what had already happened through Christ to be so (Rom. 6:11).
There are people today who have taken the ‘dying to self’ doctrine to an extreme and, instead of being free of self, they are totally self-centered. They constantly think of self. It may be in all negative terms, but it is still self-centered. A truly humble person is one who is Christ-centered. Dying to self is not a hatred for self but rather a love of Christ more than self.
There are false religions that preach a denial of self. We need to be not just dead to self, but alive to God. A focus on the denial of self without the enthronement of Christ leads to legalism. True humility is not a debasing of self, or a hatred of self, or our accomplishments. It is simply an awareness that all that we have and are is a gift of God. Therefore, only a person who acknowledges God can operate in true humility.