Thinking Out Loud - Ms. Green

Commentaries from a female, conservative Christian worldview. Intermittent observations on human behavior and current events. Occasional bursts of personal tirades,confessions, and discoveries. Frequent discussions about my "Narrow-Minded Faith".

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Sunday, June 8, 2008

Pride.

We all have it to varying degrees. I've got it. You've got it. Even the most humble among us, if the truth were exposed, have a form of pride even in their humbleness.

Maybe that’s why God hates pride so much.

For the froward is abomination to the LORD…” Proverbs 3:32

[froward meaning: turning back to one's own ways; difficult to deal with: stubbornly disobedient or contrary; going in one's own willful ways]

These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,…”

[notice the very first thing on the list]


Satan is a prideful being.

For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” Isaiah 14:13-14


God is a righteous being.

God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” Number 23:19

He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.” Deuteronomy 32:4

And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness.” Psalms 9:8

When we let pride dictate our thoughts and actions, we are more closely aligned with Satan that with God – even if our actions or words appear righteous
.

Ridding ourselves of pride is a difficult thing to do. We are supposed to put others ahead of our selves. We are to seek God’s will, and not our own. We are to spread the Gospel, but in a humble and loving way rather than in a condemning spirit.

Christians are often accused of being prideful in our attempt to tell others of the truth of the Bible – that no one can be saved through their own works or goodness. To the lost, all they hear is that we are saved and on our way to heaven and they are lost on their way to hell. They don’t realize that in order for any human being on earth to be saved, he must purge himself completely of all pride and come before his God, his Creator, with a humble and repentant heart. In fact, we must come to Him as a child.

Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.” Mark 10:15

Very young children think the world revolves around them. I do not look at this as pride. They don’t know any better. They only know their little universe, and their wants and needs. Children have to be taught that we are to put others ahead of ourselves. We are not to give in to every want and desire we have at the expense of others. There is right, and there is wrong. I can’t think of many things in my life that are more touching that to see a child give selflessly to another, whether it be a toy, a hug, or a kind word.

I also remember times when one of my children would realize they had done something wrong, and come to me crying, “Mommy, I’m sorry.” They knew they may be punished, but they also were truly sorry that they had done wrong.

Society says that adults should act like adults. What do we do when our teens are acting immature and selfish? We say, “Quit acting like a three-year old.” When men or women act selfish or immature, they’re told to “act like a grown-up” or “be a man”.

But going to God is just the opposite. God is our heavenly Father. We are not His equal. We’re to go as a child, truly sorry for our sins, and ask Him to forgive us, knowing and believing that He will, and that our sin has been paid for through Jesus Christ.

It is only after we have been taught about pride that we can be guilty of it. Many older children, and yes, adults, still want the world to revolve around them. They seek self-gratification. That is pride. Christians, although they came to the Lord in humbleness, can revert back to the sin of pride. The danger is that a lost person will look at them and see no difference in them than in the lost sinner’s state.

How can we rid ourselves of pride?

We can learn and memorize scripture that reminds us of our struggle with it.

[Two of my favorites are “When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.” Proverbs 11:2, and “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18]

We can pray and ask God to help us get rid of it in our lives.

We can ask God to keep us humble. (He’s an expert in this area)

We can focus on Him and on others instead of ourselves.

We can spend more time in God's presence through prayer and reading of Scripture.
After all, next to God, we have absolutely nothing to be prideful about. Every instance in Scripture where man came in contact with God, pride was immediately wiped away and humility took its place.

Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.” Isaiah 6:5

When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” Luke 5:8

When we are accused of being prideful by the lost, instead of automatically going on the defense to prove we are not, we should perform a quick self-examination. If we determine that we are truly walking in the Spirit, and the accuser is really offended by the Gospel, and not by us, then we should put that accusation aside. However, if we determine that maybe there is some truth in what we are accused of, and we are being prideful in what we are saying or in how we are saying it, we should immediately ask God’s forgiveness and His fullness of the Spirit, and then go back to our accuser and ask forgiveness. I’m not talking about compromise of the Word. I’m referring to the spirit in which we deliver it.

The following is my prayer for myself in dealing with pride. You may want to claim it as your own, or you may have another Scripture that more closely verbalizes your desire to overcome pride.

As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.” Psalms 17:15

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