“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Humility is a topic that is often preached on in churches across the nation and widely understood as a trait that God values within his children. It's something that we should all strive for, in placing others above ourselves in our everyday lives. As C.S. Lewis, so perfectly states, "Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it's thinking of yourself less."
On the opposite end of the spectrum is a little thing called pride, and it's not little at all. Pride is a big deal, and in the Church today, we don't treat it as such a lot of the time. Pride, in essence, is us taking the glory that belongs to GOD ALONE and keeping it for ourselves, and to me, that is the exact opposite of the way that we are called to live. It's something that can invade every aspect of our lives, both in very obvious ways that are apparent to those around us and ways that aren't so obvious.
The obvious form of pride that we've all encountered is also known as arrogance. The other is one that can only be understood when filtering it through the Word of God. What I'm talking about is the pride of self-confidence.
Now before I go any further, I feel like I need to make a clear differentiation. What I am NOT saying is that it is sinful to be confident in what you believe, how you interact with people or anything of that nature. What I AM saying is that sometimes when we make decisions or act in certain ways, whether it be with good intentions or bad, without seeking guidance from God, we are acting in pride. This "pride of self-confidence" is virtually non-existent in the world we live in. The world tells us to make our own decisions, challenge authority, and even move on from a job, city, or group of friends because it's not "what's best for you." As Christians, if we feel a pull to another job, location, or community, we are required to seek God in the decision-making process and make Him the lead.
Now what this may sound like to you is that I am just playing a semantics game or that it isn't really as big of a deal as I am making it out to be. I would push back with this. If we are not putting God at the front of the line in every decision and life choice that we make, then where are we putting Him? The only answer is, we're putting Him at the back.
If you don't believe me, 1 Corinthians 10:31 says,
"So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."
If this is what we are called to, and everything we do should be for the GLORY OF GOD ALONE, then choosing to make any decision without God, is choosing our judgment over His.
The last thing I'll leave you with is a passage from Mark 10:
"And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions."
Who's judgment did the Young Man seek and trust? I would say he trusted his own, rather than that of Christ's.
Do you agree? Let me know in the comments!
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