“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.”
Recently, God has been talking to me about the idols in my life (see previous posts). A few days ago I was convicted again. A Christian radio program[i] discussed how we often put too much emphasis on ourselves – with ourselves becoming an idol in our own life. (I don’t remember the exact words, I was driving.) I felt an immediate conviction. My life has often been about my three best friends: me, myself, and I.
“You shall have no other gods before (or besides) me.”
It seems like a simple, straight forward command. Why then is it so difficult to put God first and love God purely? I think the answer comes down to pride. Pride is the first sin – Lucifer fell due to his pride (Isaiah 14:13).
Pride is subtle and it permeates so many areas of our lives. Pride means we are focused on ourselves. This can take on many forms. Pride can be arrogance, and thinking too highly of yourself or that you are better than others. It’s easy to recognize that attitude as pride. There are many other areas in which we a prideful but we may not be aware of those prideful thoughts. Self-pity for example; we are still focused on ourselves and not God. How about not being thankful, or forgiving? What about always needing to be the center of attention? What about being unwilling to learn (because you think you know it all)? Refusing to admit when you are wrong? Being disrespectful, or even sarcastic? Being impatient? What about jealousy? Seems to me that I am prideful in many areas of my life.
The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.
So how do we get past pride?
The first step many view God as God. We are not God. We know that intellectually, but we must not know it in our heart because we act in prideful ways. Remember that God’s ways are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). He is the creator (Job 38:4). He’s done so much that we cannot do.
The second step may be to remember that God is the provider of everything we have. We would not have what we have if God did not create us with our unique talents and personality (Psalm 139:13).
1 Corinthians 4:7
For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?
Being thankful, truly thankful for everything you have (1 Thessalonians 5:18) might be the third step. Next, admit to God how prideful we are. In prayer, ask The Lord to humble our spirit. God cannot use us if we are prideful, but a God can use a humble person.
The greatest among you will be your servant.
I am praying also for a servant’s heart, and to accept the correction and discipline of God. I’m praying for God to lead me to humility.
Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid.
I’m praying for God to help me conquer the pride in my life.
Blessings on your day.
Image: Google Images
[i] Charles Stanley, InTouch