by Pastor Tim Burt
Many years ago, I invented the world’s first commercial fold down infant changing table that you see on walls in public restrooms everywhere today. It was a hard road to get it done and except by the grace of God, I wouldn’t have.
On two different occasions, two very unethical people tried to take credit for my invention – even publishing statements saying so. I could have sued them for it because the patent records verified that it was my invention and that I was the original creator. But the Lord would minister to me at these times about pride – to not let it knock me off course. I didn’t want others to take credit for something He had given me. In those times, the Lord would help and comfort me. “You know you invented it. The records clearly show you did. You could win in court. But the chase will damage you. And it will happen over and over again.” He wanted me to stay focused on the business at hand while continuing my love walk and not allow bitterness to develop toward such unethical people. The Lord helped me see that in trying to constantly chase down and stop unethical people, I would become bitter and it would knock me of course and it would ultimately damage my relationship with God and weaken my Christian walk. By the grace of God, I succeeded in keeping my heart right.
Do you ever feel like you have to prove yourself to others in one way or another? I think it happens more than we recognize. Imagine what Jesus felt like.
Jesus was the Son of God. He was God and yet He laid down His deity to walk in human flesh to in all ways be tempted like us and yet defeat sin. Philip. 2:5-9 says, “Your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not demand and cling to his rights as God. He made himself nothing; he took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form. And in human form he obediently humbled himself even further by dying a criminal’s death on a cross. Because of this, God raised him up to the heights of heaven and gave him a name that is above every other name…”
The devil constantly tried to use the “pride” card on Jesus. In Jesus’ temptation in the desert, the devil tried to get him to sin by tempting Him with pride three times.
Matthew 4:1-11 “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”
Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'” Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'”
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'”
Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.”
The devil said, “If though be the son of God.” What? Like Jesus didn’t know? The devil was trying to provoke Jesus out of pride. In pride you respond wrongly and make all the wrong choices.
To not feel like you need to defend or explain yourself is very difficult. Except by the grace of God, you wouldn’t be able to walk in it. But, you do have the grace of God and you don’t need to prove yourself to others unless and only if the Lord would have you do so, and in a gentle and appropriate way. If you keep from reacting or responding defensively out of pride, it will help keep you out of bitterness, unforgiveness, and from responding inappropriately in those occasions as they come up. If you feel provoked – beware! That is a warning sign to back off. What you do want to do is keep your love walk and know who you are in your heart and before the Lord.
Jesus showed us that we don’t have to prove who we are to others. We just need to know who we are and be steadfast in walking out those Christ like qualities, not compromising them over pride.
James 4:6 “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2011 All rights reserved