Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Falling Away on Pride

I can't be the only person who suffers from pride. There are times that I think I don't have to apologize because I'm right on something. Or perhaps, they've messed up more than me so they deserve no apology. Other times, it's the kind of pride that hits where I've overdone it by bragging about something in order to make myself feel better. And I know I'm not alone with being in Camp Pride.

There was an issue that I had been stewing upon at present where I was feeling a bit prideful over offering an apology to someone. I had been feeling rather ticked off by their seemingly lack of realizing their hurtful tendencies and therefore, I felt no apology should be given in return for another issue. But then one morning I awoke with the wisdom from God whispering into my heart, "Pride goes before destruction."

"Yes, Lord, I hear you! I need to make a change." And with having that pride, the first step to admitting it is awfully hard because of well...pride. Pride is too often the thing that puts the manipulation right into relationship. But trading it in for humility is a freeing way to improve upon things before it goes sour.

It's the kind of pride that keeps us from saying, "I'm sorry!" It's the pride that doesn't allow us to say, "Yes!" It's the pride that convinces us to say things by putting ourselves on pedestals in order to feel better compared to someone else. It's the pride that pushes us further from contentment in relationships, therefore leading to destruction. We feel no better about ourselves in the end when we accept pride. Those thoughts that were meant to put us higher than everyone else or to keep hold of offenses has now led us to sorrow and misery. Why would we want to accept that pride, when instead we could accept that we only need approval from Jesus? Because most of what we are truly feeling is our need for approval and acceptance from the world instead of feeling secure in Christ. With this, we should address things in humility.

And that is why Jesus is so great.

He was the most humble guy around. This is the same one born in a stable, among the lowliest places on earth. Surrounded by dung, straw, and dirty animals, he arrived. And that was to make a statement of who he was as the Son of Man. From him, we can learn to set our pride down and be forthcoming with things such as our apologies and humbleness. We learn that we don't need to strive at being the best at things when clearly Jesus was the best. He didn't wear fancy clothes, adorn himself with the very best jewelry and go around bragging about himself. He listened to others and made the case to love them even when they didn't deserve it. Additionally, we know he gave himself up for our very mistakes. And it was given to us with such grace.

James 4:6 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble."

Pride says to us:

"I'm easier."
"Do this and you'll be happier."
"Put yourself first."
"Say no or ignore."
"I can do no wrong."
"I'm better than everyone else."
"Why would I apologize?"

Pride convinces us that we will feel better in the end. And as said before, if we follow that tempting route, we will be led down a tumultuous path. When we choose pride, we choose ruin. When we choose humility, we choose love and the chance to better things within our relationships. And we choose Jesus being our source of freedom. When we let go of pride, we give in to improvement in our relationships and a satisfaction in knowing that only Jesus can fill the role of being enough.

Extra verses on pride to consider:
  • Proverbs 27:2 Let someone else praise you, and not your own mouth; an outsider and not your own lips.

  • Proverbs 29:23 Pride brings a person low, but the lowly in spirit gain honor.

  • Proverbs 21:24 The proud and arrogant person - "Mocker" is his name - behaves with insolent fury.

  • Proverbs 16:5 The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.

  • Isaiah 2:12 The Lord Almighty has a day in store for all the proud and lofty, for all that is exalted (and they will be humbled).

  • Romans 12:3 For by the grace given me I say to everyone 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 faith God has distributed to each of you.

  • Philippians 2:3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather in humility value others better than yourself.

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