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Posts Tagged ‘pride’

Sometimes we are too concerned with protecting the reputation of people 

but too little concerned with protecting the holy name of God. (1)

 

The reputation which I want to protect the most is mine.

 

I want to be liked.  This is my greatest failing; it is my weakest link; it is my most serious sin.  

 

I want you to like me.  I even want my enemies to like me.  Furthermore, I am so vain that I want people I loathe to like me.

 

When we are in the business of guarding our reputation, of being likable and popular, we will throw anyone under the bus in a heart beat, including God.

 

In my desire to be liked, I frequently throw God under the bus.

 

When I finally learned that my calling as a Christian was to bring glory to the name of God, I started making enemies left and right.  My like-ability rating bottomed out.  The reason enemies rise up against us when we give glory to God is that He outshines them.

 

It is hard to outshine God.  

 

The only way to outshine God is to get rid of Him.  

 

It’s me or Jesus. 

 

Hmmm ….

 

“Give the Lord the glory due unto his name.”  (2)

 

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  1. Blackaby, Richard (2006-12-01). Experiencing God Day By Day (Kindle Locations 3991-3992). B&H Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. 
  2. Psalm 29:2.
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Come to me with empty hands and an open heart, 

ready to receive abundant blessings. (1)

.

I have a hard time receiving gifts because either my pride or my expectations are too high.

I do not believe I am alone.

A friend wanted to say thank you to me earlier this week with a simple gift.

In gratefulness, I should have accepted it and say, “Thank you,” but I did not.  My pride was a hinderance.

In exasperation he told me to at least take it and give it away to someone in need.  It was only then when I accepted the gift.

He wanted to say thank you and I frustrated him with my pride.

Shame on me!

I wonder how often I have done this to God?

We expect God to bless us in specific ways. When He does not come bearing the gifts we expect, we act like He is a burden to us.

God has a specific gift for us.

The gift is Himself!

Unfortunately, we frequently reject the gift of Himself because we want a specific blessing rather than Him.

Jesus taught, 

“Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” (2)

I wonder how many times has God come to me with a gift and I have rejected Him?

Sometimes, I am amazed God keeps blessing me.

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  1. Young, Sarah (2004-10-12). Jesus Calling: Seeking Peace in His Presence (p. 123). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
  2. Matthew 6:8

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Pride does not come before the fall. 

Pride is The Fall!

It is not my intent to dispute the truth of Proverbs 16:18: “Pride comes before destruction, an arrogant spirit before a fall!”

I simply want to make the case that pride is THE Fall.

Pride assumes that everything we have achieved is the result of our own efforts.  Pride forgets that all we have and all we achieve is a gift from God.

Pride forgets God! 

Pride denies God! 

Pride rejects God!

C. S. Lewis wrote:

As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on things and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you. (1)

Not only does a proud person reject God, he demeans the value of others.

A proud person does not see others as equals, he sees them as lessers.  

A proud person believes he is better, more significant, and of more value than others.

A proud person loves to lord it over others that he has more stuff, more titles, and more shekels.

The only thing a proud person does not have more of than others is friends!

The proud man might sing, “What a friend I have in Jesus” but he will never see Jesus because he assumes Jesus is below him.

Lift up your eyes and see your Savior whose throne is in the heavens! 

Psalm 123:1

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  1. Lewis, C. S. (2009-03-17). A Year with C. S. Lewis (p. 90). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

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Whatever I love is my god.

 

This quote by St. Augustine frequently causes me to reflect on what are the things I love.

 

How do you know what you love?  I go by what I grieve losing.  If I am sad to have lost something, then I clearly had an affectionate attachment to it.  The extent of the grief measures the depth of the love.

 

Sunday afternoon I was thrilled that my favorite basketball team won a game to advance in the NCAA tournament.  Minutes after the game, I learned that our star point guard had broken a bone in his wrist.  His availability for the rest of the tournament is questionable.  Our chance of winning the prize is greatly diminished.

 

I was in a funk all night long and did not sleep well.

 

Is basketball my god, or perhaps one in a constellation of gods I adore?  I hope not, but I do orient my life and schedule, hopes and dreams around my team’s games.  

 

Another measure of whether something is your god is how much pride you take in it.  

 

Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man.”  (1)

 

My favorite team has had a great season and has provided me with much enjoyment, but the season will be incomplete if they do not win the NCAA title.  Winning allows me to boast, “My team won!” 

 

When my grief pulls me down and my pride puffs me up, God does me a favor and reminds me of His Word:

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize?  They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. (2)

 

Later in 1 Corinthians 13:13, God reminds us that there are three lasting things in life “faith, hope, and love.”  He concludes by teaching “The greatest of these is love!

 

Why do we place greater love in perishables, than in non-perishables?

 

Guard your heart.

 

Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, all of your soul,

all of your mind, and all of your strength. (3)

 

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  1. Lewis, C. S. (2009-03-17). A Year with C. S. Lewis (p. 88). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition. 
  2. The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), 1 Corinthians 9:24–25.
  3. The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Mark 12:30

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