“Lord Deliver Me”… from My Pride
by Abiding Love
1 Peter 5:5 — All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”
As we near the season of lent, we begin a devotional series on what are known as the “seven deadly sins”. Such a list isn’t found in Scripture, even though each of these sins are mentioned often. The seven deadly sins are seven ways our naturally sinful heart shows itself. These wrong attitudes of the heart are at the root of much of our sinful behavior. They also sit beneath much of our misery because they undermine having God as the joy and center of our life.
At the top of this list of deadly sins must sit sinful pride.
Is pride really sinful? Are we not to have pride in our country… our children… our appearance… our achievements? Are we to think of ourselves worthless?
Romans 12:3 says — Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.
Sinful pride is thinking higher than we ought of ourselves. It is right to rejoice in how each of us are fearfully and wonderfully made. It is right to have a sense of achievement when we or our children have earned an award, succeeded at a task, won the game, etc… We know we are worth something because not only God made us but Jesus laid down his life for us. How great the love the Father has lavished on us that we are called children of God!
But sinful pride goes higher in estimating ourselves. Much higher. Sinful pride doesn’t stop until my self has become the most important thing to myself. Sinful pride believes I am #1. My wants are what matter most. My achievements are a credit to me and me alone, and I ought to get all the recognition I deserve. Sinful pride is in love with our self.
Sinful pride believes we can do no wrong. Because we always know better. But pride believes God can be wrong. “How could God…?” “Why would God…?” Sinful pride questions God when he speaks in His Word. “God you really want me to believe…?” Sinful pride hates being under God’s thumb. “Don’t tell me how to live. This is my life. These are my choices. No one tells me what to do.” Sinful pride takes pride in its sin because it shows just how little we think we need God. Look how we have rid him from our hearts!
No wonder God opposes the proud.
What is a wonder is that God would love us — the proud, self-centered egotists we are. The Lord calls us to repentance — something a proud heart never would do on its own. God’s love sent His Holy Spirit to speak the truth of our sin to us and puncture our pride, “Lord, it is truth. I have been proud, selfish, and resistant to you. I deserve nothing from you, but I beg your mercy.”
God gives grace to the humble. The blood of Jesus purifies us from every sin. Yes, every one. God lifts us up, dries our tears of grief, looks us in the eye and declares that we are free from all guilt and shame. We are redeemed, forgiven, loved. Faith rests on the joy of knowing that our worth is now found at the cross — in what Christ did and in our being God’s redeemed through Christ.
So, dear Christian, see yourself as God sees you. Rejoice in what God’s grace has made you. Let your Lord Jesus be your deliverance from the guilt of pride. Let that gospel also empower you to leave arrogance and selfishness behind and be filled with Christian humility.
Peace in Jesus,
Pastor John Gensmer
April 17, 2019
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