I have decided that pride is one of the most subtle but serious sins we struggle with as Christ followers. Especially susceptible are those who listen to many sermons, are involved in bible studies or prayer groups, and who genuinely strive to learn and grow. I know this because it is me!
I can’t believe how easy it is to have the attitude of the religious teacher who “prayed about himself like this: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people: extortionists, unrighteous people, adulterers – or even like this tax collector.”
And, as I learn and grow, I could insert my own list: judgmental folks, critics, angry people, gossips, a know-it-all, rude “Christians”, arrogant bloggers and tweeters, mean-spirited church members … I actually have a really long list. And yes, I realize that providing the list just proves my point about myself.
I sadly find myself being arrogantly thankful for what I am not, instead of falling on my face before God and saying “God, be merciful to me, sinner that I am!”
This morning in our bible study, Beth told us that even in His anger, Jesus did not sin. I have noticed that righteous anger is rarely present in me. It is almost always filled with a little self! So, this morning I was again reminded that I must constantly depend on God’s grace to sanctify me. To possess heart humility, I must be so aware of the enemy’s schemes (and my own sinful desires – James 1:14), and I must continue to fight the good fight. To do this, I must hold firmly to faith and a good conscience before God! (1 Tim 6:12).
Proverbs 24:17 says: Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and when he stumbles do not let your heart rejoice.
So instead, by the grace given to me, I will try not to think more highly of myself than I ought to think, but to think with sober discernment, as God has distributed to each of us a measure of faith. I will strive, in His strength, to rejoice in hope, endure in suffering, persist in prayer. With the LORD’s help, I will bless those who persecute me.
I will rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. If possible, so far as it depends on me, I will live peaceably with all people. (Romans 12)