The Destruction of Pride

August 26, 2011

This week the Monday Meditation and Wednesday Word Study focused on the word pride.  I myself have been considering what I would write for this blog for some time.  There are so many things I could talk about in regards to pride and all would be good, but space is limited on a blog and I sincerely want to write about what is on the heart of God for the moment.

 

As I was re-reading through various scriptures pertaining to the subject, this one stood out to me and in a moment brought into focus what I was to write about today.

 

Romans 12:3
3) 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 measure of faith God has given you.

 

Pride is arrogance and when we are prideful we are puffed up and exalt ourselves over others and God.  Upon hearing the word we all immediately have thoughts of pride where someone is bragging about something they have done, have consistently arrogant behavior and in general, someone who looks down at others with disdain.

 

We all have someone, maybe more than one person, that comes to mind when we hear the word.  Prideful people are people we do not like to be around.  We would all generally agree that pride is NOT a godly attribute and one that those following after Christ should guard against fervently.

 

But… (wait for it)

 

I’ve seen more arrogance and pride in the so called body of Christ than in many other places.  And it not only shames me, but sincerely grieves me.

 

When we become born again and become a true child of God inheriting not only His love but all that the inheritance provides emotionally, physically and materially, we develop a new found sense of status.  We ALL know, or should know that it is not from our works or from what we have done, but simply from the merciful and graciously loving heart of Father God.

 

Yet just like a child born into a wealthy family, bloated with status and influence, some Christians are born with a sense of position that was not obtained from anything they themselves have done.  But it does not stop the arrogance and sense of pride.

 

Now let me write a brief disclaimer here.  I know that not all wealthy people are prideful and arrogant.  There are many who are humbled by the very knowledge of their good fortune.

 

But my point is to paint a picture here.  There is something about becoming a new Christian that makes all the dark clouds roll away and we feel as though we can suddenly see clearly.  There is hope and joy and for a moment it all seems so very simple, life that is.

 

I can look back as a baby Christian and see all the damage I unknowingly did.  I had all the answers.  It was simple, you just did not sin, you just tithed, you just did what you knew was right to do.  It was just that simple.  And I was arrogant about it.  It all just seemed so easy to me and I could not understand what the struggle was all about.  I loved the Lord with my whole heart and couldn’t spend enough time with Him, praying and reading the Word and couldn’t understand why others didn’t.

 

Well I soon found out.  The Lord allowed my life to take a dastardly turn.  He did not cause it, but I believe He allowed the pride I was dwelling in to have its way with me.  Remember our verse this week?

 

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

 

Remember that when read in the Lexicon it says the word ‘before’ means faces?  Well the pride I was exuding caused me to face destruction.  A friend of mine and I call those the dark days.  It was actually more like years.

 

I never stopped seeking the Lord through that time.  In fact in some ways I genuinely sought Him even more  then out of desperation and panic.  But He delayed delivering me from consequences of my own making.  I did things during that period of time that I had adamantly spoken against doing just a short time before.  I finally understood life from the other side.  And I was humbled.

 

It was during that time that I developed the mantra, ‘you can only do what you can do when you can do it.’  It seemed no matter what I tried I just could not break free from where I was at.  But by God’s grace I finally did and once on the other side I was broken, but alive. 

 

Gone was the arrogance of, ‘you just don’t sin’.  Gone was the non-understanding of why people didn’t just stop doing what they were doing and ‘turn to God’.

 

I’ve been on the watch for that demon pride ever since.  If I fail, and often I do in many areas, the one that I know I cannot afford to ever fail at again is in the area of pride.

 

As a people we do so many things well.  We are a well educated and an aggressive society that goes after what we want.  If we want to achieve a goal, we have the knowledge, the means and ability to go after it until we achieve it.  If we are Christians then we have even more in our favor because we are joined with Christ who never fails.

 

We work so hard to achieve what we want and when we get there, we are glad.  We are so glad that we brag.  Then when others become enamored with our results they begin to ask us, what was it we did to achieve success in that area. 

 

And we are oh so happy to tell them.  We believe that if they will do just what we did, the way we did it, they too will succeed.  So with exuberance we tell them, we coach them and then when there are too many people to tell, we write a book about it.  Then we go on talk shows and tell the world what we did.

 

This last year God has taken me on a new journey.  It is one of rest.  He has been teaching me to rest in Him.  To rest in God is to give Him full and complete control over everything and just, rest.  But we have to work, you say.

 

We work too hard.  We do too much.  God genuinely wants to lead us.  He wants to make our efforts efficient.  When our work is targeted to achieve the maximum impact then we will have to work much less while achieving greater results.  But this cannot be done without Christ and resting in Him.

 

The more we do the more credit we can rightfully take for the results.  God wants us to rest in Him and let Him do the work so we have no right to take the credit for the results.

 

When we follow a plan because the plan has been tried and proven to have worked for at least one person, then we are not following God, but man.  And when you have a plan that has worked and you become arrogant and prideful that your plan worked, you are certainly not following God’s leading.

 

Nothing makes me more nauseous than to hear a self appointed expert talk condescendingly to a group of people who have not mastered his plan.  It is so simple.  You just do it.  Awe… reminds me of me in years gone by.

 

Even as Christians who have inherited the entire world, we have no right to pride!  It was not of our own doing, but from the love of the Father.  All that we have and all that we ever hope to be is all because of His divine love.

 

And don’t mask your pride with an insincere, ‘I couldn’t have done it without God’ comment.  It is like trying to spray sweet perfume to mask the odor of rotten eggs.  It just increases the stench.  Don’t be deceived – you may even be prideful over your own perceived humility!humility Quote w background

So if you are someone who is pushing others to just work harder, try harder, achieve more.  You are pushing with guilt and your own pride.

If you genuinely care about them, develop a sympathetic ear and love them with the love of Christ.  Take their hand and walk the journey together with them on the path that God leads them, the way that He leads them.  Even if it defies your own knowledge, experience and understanding

 

His way is always the best way.

No matter what your beliefs are, I want to thank you for visiting my Christian blog!

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