Do you ever tell yourself, â€œYouâ€™re not all that!â€ If you do, itâ€™s probably not in a healthy manner. Iâ€™m not talking about having self-esteem; that is a lie from the pit of hell. Iâ€™m talking about having a healthy self-image. Do you see yourself with Godâ€™s eyes? Almost every sin can be traced back to the root problem of pride. I know it is true in my life; I was raised to be a prideful person (not that I really needed any assistance in that area). The original sin in the Garden of Eden was rooted in pride. The world will tell you that you need pride in who you are and to have a healthy self-esteem for yourself. The Bible tells the opposite:
â€œWhen pride comes, then comes shame; but with the humble is wisdom.â€ (Proverbs 11:2)
Those twelve words found in this proverb is completely counter to what the world teaches. The old saying, â€œThere ainâ€™t no shame in my game,â€ is rooted in pride and just because our nation has lost its ability to blush does not mean shame is absent. Our inability to be shocked by manâ€™s depravity is the shame of our nation. The Apostle John clearly teaches that pride is of this world:
â€œFor all that is in the worldâ€”the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of lifeâ€”is not of the Father but is of the world.â€ (1 John 2:16)
Pride causes more strife in a personâ€™s life than any other human characteristic. Pride will cause me to concentrate on me rather than my bride, my family, and my church. Pride brings arrogance and conceit into my life to the point people eventually will avoid me because theyâ€™ve heard enough of how great I am to last them a lifetime.
â€œA proud and haughty manâ€”â€œScofferâ€ is his name; he acts with arrogant pride.â€ (Proverbs 21:24)
The world tells you if you donâ€™t brag on yourself, no one else will do it for you. In todayâ€™s vernacular they call it marketing; in Biblical terms it is called evil:
â€œBut now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.â€ (James 4:16)
If that makes you mad or uncomfortable, then get over yourself. I didnâ€™t write that; God did! The old saying truth hurts does not apply with Godâ€™s Word. When God speaks to us through His Word, the truth is what heals us. As Jesus said:
â€œAnd you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.â€ (John 8:32)
We tend to look at the world with all its motivational mentors and speakers for wisdom, the very same people (at least the majority of them), will tell you to look within yourself to find your inner good. That is a foolâ€™s errand if ever there was one!
â€œThe Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any who understand, who seek God. They have all turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is none who does good, no, not one.â€ (Psalm 14:2-3)
If we continue on the path of pride, we end up developing the spiritual gift of criticism. I know thatâ€™s not actually a spiritual gift, but I can pull it off so smoothly youâ€™d think I was supernaturally endowed with the gift. Come to think of it; I am…supernatural in an evil way. Oh but Brother Dave, Iâ€™m not criticizing people, Iâ€™m just critiquing them to help them better themselves. I have to do this to help mankind improve itself. Oh really? Who died and made you God? I share this with you because these are all areas that I have and at times still struggle with. I donâ€™t want to have the nickname Plankeye anymore.
I recall flying home from Germany once and having read Jesusâ€™ Sermon on the Mount, the Holy Spirit taught me a simple truth from it. He whispered in my mindâ€™s ear, â€œBe careful of the standards you set for others; you just might have to live up to them one day.â€ Iâ€™ve never forgot that lesson, although at times I forget to live it out in my life. This is the admonition Jesus gave when He taught against being judgmental:
â€œJudge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.â€ (Matthew 7:1-2)
The Apostle Paul was a man who struggled with pride and he took Jesusâ€™ teaching above and cranked into warp drive:
â€œTherefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.â€ (Romans 2:1)
I love what Oswald Chambers wrote about Paulâ€™s statement because it gets to the root of our pride:
â€œGod looks not only at the act, He looks at the possibility. We do not believe the statements of the Bible to begin with. For instance, do we believe this statement, that the things we criticize in others we are guilty of ourselves? The reason we see hypocrisy and fraud and unreality in others is because they are all in our own hearts.â€
Professor Chambers is right; we donâ€™t really believe many of the things we read in the Bible because if we did we would drastically change our life. Do I really believe that I am guilty of the highest form of hypocrisy by judging others for something of which I am guilty? Of course I donâ€™t want to admit it, but just a moment of introspection reveals the truth.
If God looks at the possibility of my hypocrisy, should not I? Shouldnâ€™t I be concerned that if I were found out to be a complete hypocrite, that it would not only shame me, but it would bring shame to my Heavenly Father?
Perhaps you cannot even imagine that being an issue in your life.
How about trying something new today? How about looking at the possibility?
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Copyright Â© 2014 David Jeffers