You know where you can find pride? I’m not talking about the “I’m proud of you” pride. I am talking about the kind of pride that thinks way too lofty about myself, the kind of pride that elevates myself onto a pedal stool I wasn’t ever made for, the kind of pride that boasts in myself above others, the kind of pride that is critical of others but not of myself.
Where can we find pride? I found it today in a false sense of humility, in a patting myself on the back for being low-maintenance and easy going. I have been very prideful about a gift God has given me, and that pride, and let’s call it what it is, that SIN came back and bit me right where it needed to.
God’s Word says in Proverbs 16:18 “Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before stumbling.” Well, I am here to say that the Bible is dead-on true and right about the heart of man, MY HEART, my flesh, my ugly sin. Today, stumbling came because of my haughty spirit. Today, destruction came after pride had been lived in and loved for a long time. What was destroyed today was my sin and my lofty view of myself. Praise the Lord for this insanely gracious husband. That’s really all I need to say about that.
I continued for hours after my blow up at my husband thinking about the phrase “don’t think more highly of yourself than you ought.” I knew it was in the Bible somewhere – just so thankful for that handy, dandy concordance in the back of my Bible.
Romans 12:1-3 says
“Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
3 For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.”
I was so busy being critical of someone that I didn’t see the pride in my heart about my own self. I was way too busy thinking so highly of myself and my demeanor than I should have. Then good ole Paul writes in the second part of verse 3 that every good gift we have is purely a gift from God. Our gifts are gifts to us. Did I give myself a gift for my birthday? No way. So, I know that a gift is outside of myself and fully given by another. We didn’t do anything to acquire anything good in us. So how can I be boastful about a gift from God ANYWAY?
Since I am a new creation in Jesus, why do I still have dumb sin to fight? Well, I don’t really understand it either, but there is still this battle with sin and temptation that we must grapple with daily until we meet Jesus in eternity when all things will be right again, free from sin and death. That’s why Jesus came and sacrificed Himself for us, so that we could be given right standing with God and have eternity with God. Because left to myself, I can’t get right.
My name tag says “CAN’T GET RIGHT.”
Literally, I cannot, apart from any good gift that God gives me, do anything that pleases Him. I must fight against my sin and the temptation I face to choose Him, to choose to love, to choose to use that good sense He has given me, and to lean so heavy into Jesus and His word. And to give others and myself some grace. I am a recipient of His divine grace, therefore I can extend it freely. What a sweet truth.
May this be a continual prayer of mine:
Wicked ways can be masked by “goodness” or “better than the next person.” Our standard, our measuring stick is not other people, other believers, our pastors, our family, our friends. Our standard and our measuring stick that we measure ourselves up against is Jesus, the perfect, holy, spotless Son of God. Not others and not even others who love Jesus. Whew! I must pray Psalm 139:23-24 on the daily. Because sin wants to creep in and camp out. May we be repenting repenters, daily, often. Looking inward, asking forgiveness, fighting sin until we meet Jesus face to face.