Friday, August 9, 2013

Pride has got to go for God’s grace to flow

Pride. According to Noah Webster’s definition of the word it means:

Inordinate self-esteem; an unreasonable conceit of one's own superiority in talents, beauty, wealth, accomplishments, rank or elevation in office, which manifests itself in lofty airs, distance, reserve, and often in contempt of others.

Yikes! Sounds like someone with pride is living with a worldly attitude huh?

As I was reading through Jeremiah this morning, two verses in chapters 48 & 49 reminded me of what happens to nations (and people for that matter) who are filled with pride.

Jeremiah 48:29 (NCV) “We have heard that the people of Moab are proud, very proud. They are proud, very proud, and in their hearts they think they are important.”

Jeremiah 49:16 (NCV) “Edom, you frightened other nations, but your pride has fooled you. You live in the hollow places of the cliff and control the high places of the hills. Even if you build your home as high as an eagle’s nest, I will bring you down from there,” says the Lord.”

My mind didn’t get too far away from either one of the verses before the words of James 4:6 (God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble) came rushing to the front of my mind.

In the book of Jeremiah we are told both Moab and Edom were destroyed simply because God could not tolerate their pride. Pride puffs up and would have us believe we are “greater than” anyone…even “greater than” the very One whom created and breathed life into us (gulp). Have you ever thought about pride in that way before? It certainly does make you hesitate for just a moment doesn’t it?

“Pride” has us thinking we can take care of ourselves without even the least bit of help from God. Furthermore, the “I can take care of myself” mentality leads to taking personal credit for what God has done or is currently doing in the circumstances around us.

In Romans 12:3, Paul tells us to “not think of ourselves more highly than we should.” Evaluating ourselves through a “worldly lens” leads us to fall into pride’s trap. However, when we evaluate ourselves based on our identity in Christ, we are given grace through our humility.

I encourage you today to ask God to point out and remove any areas of pride you may be harboring.

Pride has got to go for God’s grace to flow.

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