Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Take Pride in Your Heavenly Father, Not Yourself

"And Pride shall stumble and fall, and none shall raise him up. And I will kindle a fire in his cities, and it shall devour all who are round about him."
Jeremiah 50:32

          Often when we think of pride, the word "arrogance" comes to mind. Arrogance means to reveal to others an exaggerated sense of one's own importance or abilities. We all can agree that arrogance is a quality we are not too fond of in others, and we know God is not fond of it in us. However, when we read the Bible, we see the word "pride" more often than "arrogance." What, then, is the difference in the two? Pride is simply to feel deep pleasure or satisfaction from one's own accomplishments. Therefore, pride is a feeling we hide inside ourselves, and arrogance is an action we display to others. In 1 Samuel 16:7, we learn that "the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart." Understanding this, it is easy to conclude that God finds our pride just as unattractive as he finds our arrogance. 

          Often, our pride issues are manifested outwardly through arrogance, making them easy to spot. Other times though, we deal with secret issues of pride within our hearts. Whether our pride is made public or is an internal affair, we can rest assured it is displeasing to God. As a matter of fact, there are over 500 references to pride in the Bible, all serving as a major warning of the severity of living a life full of haughtiness. In Jeremiah, God proclaims that pride shall fall and that when it does, everything that has come in contact with it will be devoured. Pride destroys friendships, marriages, careers, and families, and it will destroy your relationship with God. 

          Don't let an over-inflated sense of self damage your life. Go to God, ask Him to reveal to you your internal issues of pride, and deal with them on your face before the Lord. Start by humbling yourself before Him, and He will help you align the rest of your life. Remember that while you may be smart or talented, good-looking, driven, or passionate, each of those qualities is part of the makeup God gave you when He created you. You are who you are and have what you have because of Him. Instead of making your successes about you, praise God for them, and use them as a means to glorify Him. Don't let your successes become your downfall; instead, allow them to be God's pedestal in your life.