We sometimes don’t see who we truly are or don’t see the qualities we possess in ourselves. That is, until you start describing them. What about with spiritual things: sin in our lives? We would say, "NO, I’m not that…," but are we sure? It’s not that we are willingly ignorant, but we just miss it in the midst of sin. I’m not THAT kind of person…until I see that maybe I am.
Acts 23:1 And looking intently at the council, Paul said, "Brothers, I have lived my life before God in all good conscience up to this day." He believed he did what was right! He didn’t think he was a sinning, even when he was casting people into prison!
1 Corinthians 4:3-5
David…2 Samuel 12:1-15—THOU ART THE MAN! Required Nathan speaking the truth in love, and David having the humility to accept the TRUTH about himself.
There are many areas to which we might apply this concept:
You might be an immodest person, if…
You might be a gossip, if…
You might be a rebellious person, if…
But I would like to focus on pride, this evening. You might be a prideful person, if… We know that pride is wrong. And we know that the LORD demands humility from us! You could probably give ME the verses:
Proverbs 16:18 “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”
Romans 12:16 “Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.”
1 Corinthians 13:4 “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant.”
Matthew 18:4 “Therefore, whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
Pride is, in many ways, the first sin. Even before Adam and Eve, the devil did not want to be subject to God. He lifted himself up with pride. And ALL sin is, to one degree or another, a manifestation of our pride. But can we see pride in ourselves?
You might be prideful person, if…will we see it in ourselves when the qualities, not just the label, are pointed out?
You’ve always got to have your say, your way is always right in everything, and you are constantly in conflict with those in places of authority.
3 John 9-10—Apostles? HA! I know more than them! Silly, right? The elders? HA! I know more than them! My bosses? Ha! I know more than them? My parents? HA! I know more than them. Some people love the preeminence so much, they can’t function without it. I saw someone post on Facebook one time, after quitting another job, “Why do I always get the stupid bosses?” Maybe it’s not the bosses. If that’s me, I’m a prideful person.
You always have to get the credit for what you’ve done. And certainly don’t want someone else to get the credit.
Matthew 6:1-4—A person once took credit in the business meeting for “taking the lead in working with the young people…” I was flabbergasted, upset, and offended? Who had a problem with pride? Both of us. I didn’t have to get the credit, but I sure didn’t want anyone else getting what was rightfully mine!
And yet, I’ve seen those who I KNOW have done most of the work on something in the church, willingly, joyfully, and graciously give credit and build up those who had a much smaller part in it. They don’t need the credit…in fact they want to give it to someone else. That’s meekness.
Your time is to be used for your purposes, and your purposes are more important than anyone else’s!
Luke 10:30-32—What was the problem. Lack of compassion, certainly. Lack of credit, for sure. Their time was too important to be “wasted” on something like this. Visiting widows, shut-ins, sick. Taking food to people. Going to funerals. That takes time, and you don’t get much credit for it. But it is what humble servants do.
Your traditional, preconceived ideas and thoughts cannot be challenged by further study of God’s commands. “I just think…” I already know it all mentality, and you can’t change my mind! Where you don’t listen to arguments or interpretations from a passage, because you’ve heard it all and know it all. Your mind is already made up.
2 Kings 5:9-14—KJV "Behold, I thought…"
You hold convictions even if you know you cannot uphold them by scripture, and expect everyone else to abide by your convictions. Or, you are not sensitive to the consciences of others, but demand your liberty because you are right.
1 Corinthians 8:1-2—both sides of the argument were lifted up with pride because of their supposed “knowledge.” Those who refused to eat meat, demanded that no one eat meat. Those who knew you could eat this meat, were going to eat it even if it caused their brethren to stumble. No humility here, only pride.
Your clothes, cars, etc. have to bear certain markings or names or symbols…not because of quality or reliability, but to communicate a certain status. Pride gets us caught up in status. Where am I on the social ladder?
Philippians 2:5-8—this is the example we need to follow. Who cares about pride, and status, and position and power? I’m going to humble myself as a servant…because that’s who our God is.
The self-emptying, the sacrificial giving of Jesus—is not a somehow a removal of deity, but a revealing what God looks like.
Here’s what I mean: what we see in Jesus we see in God. Jesus said, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.” The willingness to give for others is what our God is like! The willingness to give and suffer for the sake of others is at the heart of who our God is. He deserves service, yet He serves. He is exalted, but meek.
John 13:15-17--an example for us. This is how you serve…this is meekness. I have the power, I am a master…but I serve. And if I serve, that means YOU should serve too, because you are not greater than me.
You might be a prideful person…if you haven’t put on Christ in baptism. What else would hold you back?
Talking about Rednecks reminds me of a video I saw in 2012 before the election. It was one of those “man on the street” things where they interview people and they say outlandish things. They were talking about labels that we put on people in order to dismiss them, instead of having a spirit of inclusion and tolerance. This particular person said, I kid you not, “I would never call a redneck a name.”
Sometimes we just miss it in ourselves…but we have to have the humility, like David, that when it is pointed out…we see it, confess it, and repent of it. Submit yourself under the