17.9.10

Pride & Bragging Rights

Romans 11:20
This is true. They were broken off 
because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. 
So, do not become proud but stand in awe.

The most miserable thing about pride is that as it builds up self-ego and it begins to eat away at the confidence of man in God. It skews man’s view of God and tricks the mind into thoughts of grandeur that belong to God alone.

The devil’s biggest problem is that he viewed himself incorrectly in the light of God. Before his fall he looked at his own beauty and instead of being in awe of God and loving God, he got tangled up in pride. He became so ensnared in pride that while marveling at the glory of creation he decided that the created should be given the glory and not the Creator.

Before I start throwing stones and getting myself all wadded up in self-righteous vigor; I have to ask myself a question.

“How often does the pride 
in my life manifest itself into self worship?”

So often I worry about my own pleasure, my own gain, and I pretend that my goodness is somehow related to my ability to keep the law. I follow rules, and I pretend like that is what makes me holy. I worship God in my own way, and talk about how much I please Him. I live my life, with the appearance of holiness and with acts of righteousness because it is what proves that I am good. And being good for God that is something to be proud of, a badge of honor to wear with…well, pride. I worship in such in a way I am comfortable with, in such a way that I am exalted before man, trying to fill my insecurities with holiness. Trying to stuff my fears of self failure with good intentions, small deeds, and of course the ever faithful and always near self righteousness.

It pains me to admit that I am like the devil. So often I find myself needing the praise of man, the affirmation of a friend, an approving nod from someone –anyone. And I feed myself with a false sense of control and I pride myself in righteousness that is not even my own. Like the devil, I get caught up in the creation, and I do not give God the glory that is due Him. I boast in myself and forget that Jesus Christ is the source of my life.

The idea “Less of me, More of Him” is a noble one, but if I think (I know I have misunderstood it my entire life) that anything I can do will make God bigger than I have been mislead. God does not need my help in making Him any bigger than He already is. Besides He is not even the one in need of change. I am the one, it is me, that needs the changing.

I am the one, that needed salvation. I am the one that whose only right to brag, is in my God and the fact that He washed away my sins. Jesus Christ is my wisdom, my righteousness, my sanctification, and my redemption. (1 Corinthians 1:30). He is my only hope.

Being humbled is uncomfortable, but if that is what it takes to make me boast in my Christ, than being broken is not just a challenge for better living, but a requirement. If breaking me, exalts my God than my brokenness can be counted as a joy.

I am the clay pot, being beaten down to dust. Any function that I had, any reason I had for pride is gone. What good is dust? The only hope for dust is a little water to be made into clay. And what good is clay, unless it is in the hands of an experienced potter?

All pride stripped away, the clay has no say in what it will become. A beautiful piece of art displayed and adored or a practical water holding nothing special jug.

I can in confidence say that God offers peace with man, but only in absolute humility of my own condition can I communicate this gift.

I am as bad as the worst sinner with nothing to justify salvation. But God being rich in mercy, had compassion on me.

Jesus, could have gotten caught up in the worship that was actually and in all truthfulness rightfully due to Him. Instead, He died for the worthless sinful souls of man, and rose three days afterward. He humbled himself and died, so that I could know Him.

Any righteousness I have, and good deed I have done, any mercy that I have ever had is because I cried out to God. I cried out in childlike humbleness and asked for forgiveness from my sinful state. I begged him to come into my life and change me, I pleaded with Him to love me.

And praise Him, He did. And even though I still struggle with the frustration of sin, I know I am forgiven.

There is something freeing about forgiveness; a debt that is paid is no longer overwhelming. My life should patterned after His, dying to myself so that others might know Him. Being beaten into dust so I might have a function, that I might be used by Him.

I have no room for pride, 
except to brag on my God. 
I have no reason to live, 
except to stand in awe of my God.

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