by Pastor Tim Burt
A while back, I guy I knew had called me asking if I’d sit down with him to talk about his marriage! At least that’s what I initially thought. What I quickly discovered was that his marriage was over. It was his third marriage that had failed. He said his wife wanted out! It didn’t take long to see that he wasn’t broken up over it. He wasn’t because he was blinded by pride! He actually talked about what a great guy and catch he was. If his past wives couldn’t figure that out, he was better off without them. For a while I questioned why he wanted to meet with me. He wasn’t asking for advice. He didn’t seem depressed. Then I realized why he was there. He needed to justify why this was a good move and how stupid these women had been to let go of someone like him. I could tell he wanted some affirmation to that fact but it wasn’t something he would get from me. I was contemplating telling him he was drowning in his own pride when the Lord brought Proverbs 23:9 (NLT) to mind which says, “Don’t waste your breath on fools, for they will despise the wisest advice.”
Pride is such an ugly thing. We all fight it at times. Even the person that has low self-esteem or a poor self-image will occasionally exhibit displays of pride. Why do people have high and lofty opinions of themselves? Is it because of how they look? If their appearance is pleasant to the eye, that’s a gift from God. God should be praised and thanksgiving should be felt—not pride. Is it because of their IQ? If they have great intelligence, that’s a gift from God and they should be praising God with a heart of thanksgiving—not feeling pride. Is it because they have made wise decisions that have worked and born great fruit and success? Is it because their great abilities help them in their achievements? Abilities and wisdom are a gift from God. As James 1:17 (NLT) says, “Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens…” They should be thanking Him for it.
There are many successful people that think their success was self-achieved. There are others who are humble enough to look back and see it was God’s helping hand that brought them to a good place. Pride blinds one from seeing and understanding that God is the source of what is good in their life which in turn, blinds them from glorifying and thanking God. Instead they glory in themself.
Pride elevates one to feelings and thoughts of a high or inordinate opinion of their own importance and achievement, creating feelings of superiority over others. Pride is more blinding that physical blindness. Pride makes one foolish and unaware of its existence, repulsing most everyone in their life that is subject to it. Proverbs 11:2 NIV, says, “When pride comes, then comes disgrace…” This is why the Apostle Paul in Romans 12:3 (NLT), instructs us to beware of pride saying, “…I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.”
In James 4:6 NIV we read, “…God opposes the proud but gives grace (His supernatural mercy, help, and intervention) to the humble.” In this new year, purpose to think about the blessings in your life and ask God to reveal how He brought them to you! He will and you’ll never be the same! You yourself will discover that the key to true and sincere humility that opens the door to more and more grace from God is to be thankful to Him for every good thing in your life! It will change your outlook on everything. It will refresh your love for God. It will change your approach to life. You will become one who glorifies God sincerely for the goodness He brings and you’ll see His hand in your life in ways you never could!
Proverbs 3:34 (NIV) “He mocks proud mockers but gives grace to the humble.”
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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