Luke 18:9-14 (NKJV) Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
I would say that the thing I struggle with most is pride, thinking too highly of myself, but also thinking too often of myself.
God measures sin equally, sin is sin, none greater or lesser than the other. All sins serve to build a blockade between us and our Father. Thankfully, Jesus came to bridge the rift and reconcile us to Him. However, when sin prevails in any aspect of our lives, it blurs our vision and stymies our hearing. It renders us of little or no use to the work God has prepared for us.
Although sin is sin, I think pride is a particularly treacherous device. Most sin, I believe, is rooted in a manner of pride. Conceit, covetousness, wrath, adultery, theft, lying, etc all stem from a foundational selfishness. Sin so often flows from a sense of entitlement…”me, my, I”. Pride manifests itself in so many forms, not just the “I’m awesome, I did… I am… I can…”, but in the “it’s just a little… I deserve… no one will know…”
Because of its ground level, broad reaching capacity to infiltrate our life from so many angles, I believe it to have the potential to wreak the most havoc in people’s lives. I believe that God holds a particularly deep seated contempt for pride. Scripture, New and Old Testament covers pride in sweeping detail, its evils, its power of corruption and its consequences.
Be humble, be thoughtful, be gracious, be loving and push pride back to the pits of sheol where it belongs. It’s something I know I will struggle against for all of my years, but struggle against it I must, and so must you. Have a blessed weekend.
In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,