I think and pray lot about pride. I believe that is my biggest obstacle (or idol) in keeping me from God. I believe that pride, is a bigger problem when it comes to a relationship with the King, than most people realize and I would like to discuss this today.
Pride; as defined by Dictionary.com, is:
For me, pride manifested itself as control. As a United States Marine, a business owner, and an individual that had the physical ability to overcome any obstacle or anyone who challenged my authority, I believed I could control or manipulate any situation. I had “control” of my life and I was proud of my accomplishments. Why shouldn’t I be? I came from a very modest upbringing and was now making more money than ever. I had all the newest and coolest stuff, and I made sure that everyone knew that this was all happening because of my abilities. I was the most proud man on the planet. I was so proud in fact, that I became so confident, that as long as I controlled all the aspects of my life I could undo any “mess” I created. I am sure you have heard it before, but “control is an illusion”, and I had to fall a long hard way to learn that. Before I could fall though, I had to realize that pride can disguise itself in many ways: nice homes, new vehicles, fun big-boy toys, and any other materialistic or non-tangible items of value I could posses. If you would have met me then, I am ashamed to say, you would have known the proudest man in the world.
We humans walking this planet tend to think that our time here on earth is our time. Time that we can use however we want and whatever way we want. THAT MY FRIENDS IS PRIDE, AND THAT IS WRONG!!!
Everything we have is a gift from God. 1 Corinthians 4:7 tells us so. All through scripture, we are told to use our gifts or blessings wisely. To be generous with the gifts God has given us. This doesn’t mean taking people for rides in your boat, or letting someone borrow your camper for the weekend. You see folks… the job you have, the happy family you have, the great church family you have, all gifts from God. Now; on the other side of the coin, your constant pain from an accident, your cancer, your loss of a loved one; believe it or not, also gifts from God.
He doesn’t want us to focus on just the good things in our lives to share with others, because then once you believe, in Him, you will think everything is puppies and cake all the time, and trust me, that is not the case. God wants us to share ALL of our gifts and blessings from him. Both the gifts that make us happy and the gifts that cause us to suffer. God wants us to avoid the pride and temptation of the enemy and to understand that EVERYTHING WE HAVE IS A GIFT FROM GOD! Good, bad, fun, sad, ALL gifts from God.
You see, God can use everything for His Glory, we just have to set aside our pride and let Him. When we talk about victories or failures, let people know that God and His strength is what has empowered you to thrive or survive. Don’t take credit for the wins, don’t blame your loss on someone else. Tell everyone that God carried you in both your victories and defeats. Every gift or blessing, whether good or bad, that we receive from God will serve His purpose one day. Our joy will lift someone up when they are at their lowest, and our suffering will give someone hope at just the moment they need it.
If you let your pride become the idol between your hearts and God, you will fail in this life. Think about that! While you are walking around down here on earth strutting around like your shirt don’t stink, full of pride (or any idol), you might get to do that for what 70 – 80 years? However; when you go to heaven because you put God before your pride (or any idol), you are there for ETERNITY. Which one sounds better to you?