In Idiot Brain Burnett acknowledges the awesome nature of the human brain, but he also says he wrote the book to remind us that our brains have some quirks and that they sometimes play tricks on us. For instance, our brains edit our memories to make ourselves look better without us even being conscious of it. One interesting fact about the brain is that it is very visual. One effect of this is that we can remember faces much better than we can remember names. Laurie and I have noticed that it is common for us to recognize an actor in a television show or movie but not know what his or her name is. Often we can’t recall where we have seen the actor before, we just remember the face.
Proverbs 11:2 says, “when pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” Proverbs 18:12 says, “before a downfall the heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor.” God places enormous value on humility. 1 Peter 5:5 says, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” Micah 6:8 answers the question of what the Lord requires of us. “To act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
The Lord was on to the need for humility long before modern researchers. God’s main concern is spiritual. Our pride is behind all of our sin. It is the thing that keeps us from seeing our need for grace and that separates us from him. Humility, in the end, is central to our relationship with God, and it is also crucial to having true, loving relationships with other people. It is a noble and necessary trait for anyone who desires to be spiritually and psychologically whole. But it turns out that humility is also the intelligent thing to do. When you are absolutely sure you know more than everyone else, look out. It may be a sign that you don’t know what you’re talking about.