Tag Archives: pride

Consider others

Pride

Philippians 2:3 Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.

When we’re prideful we can’t see past ourselves to meet the needs of others.  We view ourselves as the highest priority and we care very little what God wants of us or what others might be feeling.  But a humble spirit puts others first.

All around us are ads, people, groups, businesses and all other manner of communications telling us to put ourselves first and to basically forget about other people and what they want.  You’re #1.  You deserve the best.  But a follower of Christ, a person after His own heart, will not be able to do this without feeling a strong urging to do the opposite.  We’re called to put others first.

This can be taken to an extreme where the person seeking to put others before themselves actually neglects their own needs to their detriment. A balance has to be found though.  We do have things we need and we shouldn’t forget to take care of ourselves. But by considering others more significant than ourselves, we’re just reorganizing our priorities a bit. We’re more courteous, doing things like helping out where we see a need, even when it might make us late.  We’re willing to inconvenience ourselves for the sake of others.  We give our time.  This is humility and God honors it.

God resists the proud, but…

Pride

James 4:6  But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

We’ve all seen the downside of pride.  The pain it can cause.  The alienation, the disappointment.  Pride can cut us off from God because the proud displace God in favor of themselves.  The proud make themselves into their own god.  This is why God resists them.  But there is hope.  There is grace.

Though God resists the proud, we find that He gives grace to the humble.  This doesn’t just mean that those who continually show humility receive grace.  God so freely gives His grace that even someone who recognizes their pride and turns to Him in humility can receive it.  He’s so willing to pour out His grace that He extends the offer to anyone that turns from their pride.

Humility is about putting God back where He belongs and ourselves back where we belong.  We’re not God and we do a good thing when we recognize that and admit it.  With God in the place of Lord and us under His authority, we’re able to receive the grace He offers.  Pride, however, won’t allow us to receive that gift.  Step aside!

 

Pride will bring you low

Pride

Proverbs 29:23  One’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.

Pride is one of those things in our lives that can go undetected, unchecked, and unsuspected for a long time.  We may think we’re doing just fine by behaving the way we are, never even having so much as a hint that we’re being driven by our own pride.  Then it happens.

It’s interesting how much easier it is to see pride in someone else’s life than it is in our own.  When someone comes crashing down after they let their pride guide them in all their decisions, we have an “I saw it coming” attitude, but when it happens to us it’s always a surprise.  The old illustration of boiling a frog seems appropriate here.  If you put a frog in hot water, he’ll jump out, but if you put him in room temperature water and increase the heat little by little, you’ll boil him.  Pride creeps into our lives in this way, not all at once, but a little bit at a time.  One selfish decision leads to another and so on.

But it can’t go on forever.  Everyone who is led by their pride will eventually fall and when they do it would have been better for them to bring themselves down in humility than to face the consequences of their pride.  We have many chances along the way to check our pride and make sure we humbly put it aside.  It’s better to do it voluntarily than to be brought low without warning.  Following the example of Christ will help us in this endeavor.

Pride goes before destruction

Pride

Proverbs 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.

Have you ever witnessed someone who seemed to have it all together suddenly tumble down from their high position, whether that means losing respect, losing money, or losing everything?  Beware of pride lest that be you in the future.  Pride has killed many giants, and it’s the root of many sins.

Things like lust, arrogance, anger issues, disrespect, irreverence for God, divorce, lawsuits, and many others on a long list can often be traced back to their roots in pride.  For so many of us, pride is not something we see in ourselves until it’s too late.  We carry on our lives without realizing that what drives us is our self-pride.  We ruin relationships, step on others, cheat, abuse, and sin all because of pride…and we don’t even realize it because we’re blind to it.

But if we ask God to open our eyes, to keep us from pride and to help us repent, He’ll show us the way.  Pride does come before destruction, but the good news is that we don’t have to remain prideful.  We can’t get over the problem of pride on our own, we have to turn to Jesus, but His power is sufficient to relieve us and bring us back to a humble demeanor under His grace.

Love is not proud

1 Corinthians 13:4  Love is… not arrogant

How many marriages could be saved if just one partner would apologize?  How many friendships – if only one person would put down their pride and say “I’m sorry”?  Pride is truly the root of so many evils.

Pride and arrogance are the stepping stones to lust, to selfishness, to anger, to contempt.  There’s no room for pride in a loving relationship – pride takes up too much space.  Really loving someone means being willing to admit faults and shortcomings.  Love puts others first, even at the expense of ego or dignity.  Pride just doesn’t fit into the scenario.

A proud person makes decisions based on what will make them look the best.  They’ll take others down to build themselves up and hurt feelings to keep from admitting wrong.  We don’t think we’re being evil when we’re prideful, it seems right, even good, at the time.  You know yourself well enough to know where your pride resides.  Capture it, and act in love.  Be willing to be wrong and admit it.  Be ready to step aside when someone has a better idea.  Respect in love.

 

Want and Need

What we want isn’t always what we need and what we need isn’t always what we want. That is perhaps one of the most difficult lessons that God teaches us in our lives as we struggle with purpose and meaning, searching for a reason, wondering to ourselves if He is even listening. Sometimes we just, well we have this image in our head of the way things should be or ought to be and it becomes such a prevalent thought that we can’t picture it any other way. Other times it’s that we look around and we can’t seem to understand why it is the way it is when we know it should be different, even if we don’t necessarily know how or why that should be the case.

It’s the question of divine purpose that so often gets to us, that so often weighs us down as we know what we want or how we want it, and yet, as we do, we have a hard time reconciling it to what God knows that we need in our lives. The thing about it is that we’re not even trying to be that terribly difficult, we aren’t trying to make it that much harder, we just want to know why it is the way that it is, we want to know what the plan and the design of it is, and we don’t necessarily get why it has to be the way that it is.

The deepest questions of who we are, and who we need to be, of where we need to be, they aren’t ever questions that come simply or easily. We don’t just become people, we grow into them. Perhaps, along the way or path is changed or altered, it might be that it we are affected, even shaped by the interactions we have with others, sometimes our road is hard, sometimes it is easy, but any way that you look at it, it doesn’t just happen overnight where, one day, we are suddenly who we are at this very moment in our lives. So why would it be any different with a God who knows how we grow, how we evolve as a person, how we learn and we change with time? Why would He make the answers clear to us in a way that He knows would be unclear because it was given without any thought or consideration to who we are and how we became that person?

What God promises us isn’t an easy path, nor a simple one in any way but to our salvation through Christ Jesus. (Romans 5:8) What He does promise is that, through the fires and the floods, through the dangers and the perils, He will be there for us and with us, (Isaiah 43:2) never leaving us or abandoning us. (Joshua 1:5) What He tells us is that what we need, in those times when we question the purpose and the plan of it is all, is trust and patience, because those who trust in the Lord will find His goodness (2 Samuel 7:8) and those who are patient with Him will find their strength and purpose, uplifted in His love. (Isaiah 40:31) This is the wondrous miracle of His hand in our lives even as we find ourselves questioning where He is when we want the most.

Remember, it is not our wanting that exalts us, it is God, our Heavenly Father, and God alone who does that. (Psalm 46:10) It could be, at that moment, we don’t quite get how He is exalting us, but it’s only when we put those feelings behind us, when we let go of them, in the blessings of His hope that He lets us be of one mind with Him, (Romans 15:5) to see as He sees, making more and more apparent the glorious nature of the lessons He is teaching us to become as we need to be as He makes all things possible to us through the power of His grace made perfect in Christ through us. (Philippians 4:13)

Take a moment today, and look at your life, look at what you are struggling with, what is challenging you. Take the time to look at what you have laid at God’s feet, the burdens you still feel weighing on you, and instead of mistaking want for need and putting what you want out there, say to God, “Lord, show me as You will, teach me as You must so I can be as You intend for me to be.” Let go not just of the struggles but of the wants and the desires you have in them, and make it about what the Lord, your blessed Father, intends for you and let Him, in trust, patience and hope, guide you to where you must be.

It is only then that you will find the true path to the peace you are seeking, the only way you will find the true reconciliation of your will with God’s to the glorious ends of the love He has for you as He makes it about you rather than you making it about yourself.

The origin of demons

Angels and demons

2 Peter 2:4  For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment;

How could a perfect God who is incapable of evil create demons?  Why would He even do such a thing?  The fact of the matter is some angels, the heavenly beings God created to carry out His plan, were rebellious and would rather gain power than serve the One who created them.  Because God is just, those angels were cast away from His presence, and we now refer to them as demons.

But before we bid them good riddance, let’s take note of what their sin really was.  The rebellious angels wanted to be like God, as did their leader Lucifer.  Their arrogance cost them.  But what did the first humans choose in the Garden of Eden?  Rather than obeying God, they wanted to be like Him by knowing good and evil.  They chose the same sin as the demons.  And so do we.

Every time we choose our own preferences and comforts over what God wants, we’re choosing to be in the place of God.  Aren’t we?  Think about how many sins start with pride as their root cause and then boil down what pride really is.  Pride in our hearts is the desire to be like God rather than submitting to Him.  If God didn’t spare angels for doing such a thing, what makes us think we deserve exemption from His judgment? Thank God for His grace!