Our Prideful Selves!

“As long as Uzziah sought the Lord, God gave him success. … But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall.” -2 Chronicles 26:5b,16a (NIV)

Worshiping God’s blessings instead of God Himself can be dangerous. In our misguided adoration toward the success that God has blessed us with, we slowly turn away from the fact that it was Him who gave us victory over our situations and circumstances. We begin to deceive ourselves into thinking that we’ve gotten to where we are now because of our own talents and our own wisdom. Swollen with pride, we allow it to taint our judgment and destroy our relationships. In our deluded state, we make decisions that no wise man would make, and refuse to listen to sound counsel when it is given to us. We feel that because our skills and capabilities are far superior to others, we will not drink of the cup of failure and suffering.

As long as we place our confidence in our own limited capacity, we will always be let down by ourselves. God, because He allows us to exercise the free will He has given us, will allow the consequences of trusting in our own wisdom to visit us. He does so not to maliciously harm us, but so that we may humble ourselves before Him and see the folly of allowing pride to take control of our minds. Who are we before God? We are but dust! Genesis 3:19 says, “…for dust you are and to dust you will return.” Yet in His love, He offers to transform us into beautiful works of art according to His perfect wisdom if we allow Him to invade our hearts. When we dwell in the presence of God, we will realize our place in relation to His eternity, power, and wisdom. In humility, we will want to ask Him to guide our paths and enable us to use the gifts and abilities He has given us to their full potential. We simply do not have the cleverness to skillfully master the abilities God has given us. But thankfully in our weakness He makes us strong. When we see the work of His wisdom and aptitude exhibited in our lives, we will be awestruck and praise God for enabling us to do what He has called us to do.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Pride Comes Before A Fall

“The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.” -Proverbs 16:5 (NIV)

Arrogance is one of the most destructive and humiliating attitudes to have. By playing upon the ego of a person, it inflates man’s perceptions about themselves and creates a fantasy of their abilities. Those who have succumbed to arrogance accept this lie and strut with haughty pride. Thinking that they are better than everyone else they lord their self-proclaimed superiority over others and look down upon those they deem inferior with contempt. But when the day comes when someone with humble confidence exposes the arrogant for who they really are, the same men who marched with pride are put to shame. They learn the hard way that there is no room for conceit and that the proud are sure to fall.

Do we have pride within our hearts? Sometimes we may think that we know better than God. Blind to our own folly we say to God that we do not need Him; that we are perfectly capable of living independent of Him and controlling our destinies. But such a pride has its cost. By forsaking the wisdom of God, our minds have become dulled and we are unable to see the folly of our choices. Thinking ourselves to be wise, the punishment we receive for our arrogance is that God allows us to go our way only to realize, after a painful reminder of the consequences of our actions, that we are fools. However, the beauty of this punishment is that there is hope if we choose to grasp it. God will never point and laugh when we have fallen. Rather, He wishes that all men come into relationship with Him so that they may find abundant life and lasting joy. When we allow Christ’s Spirit to enter our hearts and surrender our pride to His infallible wisdom, we will find that being within God’s perfect will is the best place to be.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

He is the Main Feature

“He must increase, but I must decrease.” -John 3:30 (ESV)

John’s disciples heard that Jesus was attracting crowds and baptizing the people who came to Him. Distressed over the matter, they went directly to John and told him what they saw. John’s answer to their concerns however, was one of humility and grace. While his disciples were more worried about losing numbers and therefore prominence to Jesus, John had it in perspective. He recognized that though Jesus was his cousin, He was first and foremost his Lord and Savior. John was not called to redeem the world; it was Christ. Rather, John’s role was to call the people to repentance and prepare the way for Jesus’ coming; and he fulfilled this role well. Now that Christ had come, all John had to do was sit back and watch; humbling himself and not allowing pride to get the better of him so that Christ may carry out His redemptive work in the world.

We do not want the spotlight taken from us. In our human pride we want to be the centre of attention; loved, revered, and adored by all who come into contact with us. But these things are temporary and when we are faced with the possibility of losing such a position, we will do anything to maintain it; even resorting to methods which are deceitful and corrupt. Consequently, our pride leads us to do things that will shatter our relationships with others, and lasting peace and joy will elude us. What is more is that pride, if we allow it to take root in our hearts, will tarnish our witness for Christ and prevent the work which He is doing in our lives. If we truly wish to be redeemed from our sin and bring glory to God, we must first acknowledge that it is not about us. We can do nothing on our own because it is God who gives us breath and the ability to do what we boast about.  When we allow Christ to enter into our hearts and purge us of our pride, we will know our place before Him and He will arrange our priorities according to His perfect will; not ours. By humbling ourselves so that Christ may work in us, we will be able to see the wonder and blessings of living in obedience to Him as He unfolds His plan before our eyes.

Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved