Saturday, June 12, 2010


Most of us are slow learners, and it is a good thing God is long-suffering and patient toward us. We are told in 1 John 2:16 that our human nature (that part of us which continues to fight against the Holy Spirit within - Romans Chapter Seven), consists of our lust of the flesh, our lust of the eye, and our pride of life. Few would disagree that Christians need to control their fleshly desires. Few would disagree that Christians should be satisfied with what the Lord has provided instead of craving what we do not have. But what about our pride of life? I am not sure I even know what that is.

Perhaps it is when one looks back on their accomplishments with pride in themselves. But why, didn't God give us the ability and the incentive to do it (Phil. 2:13)? Nebuchadnezzar was warned about his pride in a dream interpreted by Daniel (Dan. 4:4-27). A year later, he was right back where he had been, bragging about how great his accomplishments were, and the Lord fulfilled the prophetic dream (Dan. 4:28-34). Christians are fond of saying, "In Christ, I can do all things..." but often forget that apart from Him, we can do nothing (Phil. 4:13; Jn. 15:5). Perhaps the pride comes from the fact that we are believers in Christ and therefore children of the Most High God (Jn. 1:12). Paul made certain that we are aware our salvation is a gift, and therefore we have no right to boast about it (Eph. 2:8-9). Actually, the pride of life cannot be our relationship with God, because unbelievers have it as well.

Although I am not certain exactly what God means by the pride of life, I know that I have no grounds for pride. All that I am, or ever hope to be, is the work of Almighty God. Paul's thorn in the flesh was put there because he had received special revelation from God and his nature would have been prideful (2 Cor. 12:1-10). Before Paul became a believer, he had a serious problem with pride, describing himself as being the epitome of righteousness (Phil. 3:4-6). But Paul later wrote, "...not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think...." (Rom. 12:3).

Pride has another side that is equally unacceptable to God. When a poor person would rather steal than ask for help (Prov. 30:9). Or when one who can no longer drive refuses to ask for or accept help from others. What about a person who refuses to share his needs with the brethren as a prayer request because he doesn't want anyone to know "his business?" Or what about the person who has an area of sin in their life that makes them feel unworthy to attend church or pray? They forget that God knew their weaknesses long before the world was formed and He loved them anyway. God cannot be surprised or is never disappointed, because He never expects us to be more than we actually are. We are ashamed that we fail to live like Christ, and that is pure pride. If He somehow miraculously made me like Jesus, can you imagine the size of thorn it would take to keep me humble? Don't compare yourself to others and become proud; don't compare yourself to Christ and become defeated. Just rejoice that He is in the process of making you to be like Jesus! "... He Who hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Phil. 1:6; 1 Jn. 3:2).

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