Pride is something I have been thinking about the last week or two. Not the pride which keeps us all from coming to the Lord initially (I'll talk about that later) but pride which maybe comes after we're saved.
Now it is a good thing to be proud to be a Christian. To be proud of your Saviour and his sacrificial death is very healthy and much needed in the Christian's life today. Indeed, not to be proud of your only reason for being accepted by God would be quite worrying.
The pride I am thinking about is the sort we are all guilty of in some form or another. Perhaps we are proud of the work we do in the local church, or of our stance for the Gospel or perhaps because of all the charitable acts we perform. The thing is, are we proud of our work for Him or are we proud of Him working through the likes of us?
Of this personal pride, let's remind ourselves what the Bible teaches on this subject:
"For all that [is] in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world" (1 John 2:16)
Personal pride is not a quality to be found in the Spirit led Christian. If it is there, and let's be honest it will be in some degree in all our hearts; as with every sin we should ask for forgiveness and submit fully to the Spirit's gentle leading.
The clearest warning in the Scriptures about personal pride which gets out of hand is in Proverbs 16:18:
"Pride [goeth] before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall"
God will not work through self reliant people, that is, with people who are happy to go on in their own strength:
"But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble" (James 4:6)
Humility is a wonderful trait, one which I would love to have more of.
The story is told of a man in a church who was presented with a belt, where upon this belt was the word "Humility". However, because he started to wear the belt, they had to take it off him! Humility is that grace of which it is said, "the moment we realise we have it, we have lost it" .
Humility is something which we will see less and less of as we move closer to the time of our Lord's return:
"For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy" (2 Timothy 3:2)
So let us ask the Lord to use us afresh, even as you read this small Thought. Remind yourself from the Bible of the great victories the Lord accomplished through insignificant, lowly, weak, humble men and woman who feared God.
And if you're reading this but have never come to a time in your life when you have humbled yourself by admitting you are a sinner before a holy God? Why not do what a young boy in our Youth Club and a older lady in our Gospel Meeting did last week? They both acknowledged that they were sinners before a holy God, believed that Jesus Christ died for them on Calvary's cross and asked God to forgive them. Please don’t let pride keep you from a place reserved for you in Heaven.
"Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of [our] faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God" (Hebrews 12:2)
Are you SURE that you have your place booked in Heaven? Read this if you're not!