It is not humility – it is petty pride
I write these devotionals for you to get a glimpse of how God is working in my life and the things He is refining in me. If you come back and read these postings occasionally you will be living out these refining processes with me in my blogs.
The other day I was listening to a sermon by Johnnie Moore, one of the Liberty campus pastors. During his message he read a verse from Hosea 13.
Hosea 13:6, “When I fed them they were satisfied; when they were satisfied they became proud; and then they forgot me.”
I quickly focused in on “When I fed them they were satisfied; when they were satisfied they became proud; and then they forgot me”. This part of his message was just a stepping stone to where he was going with the message that was not about pride. However, God stopped me and focused me on this verse. I started thinking about this, and the very end in particular “they became proud; and then forgot me”. I thought, man that is me. God has been working on me in this area for quite sometime now, and I knew it had a tendency to be an issue, especially at work. I started thinking of all the different ways I show pride in my occupation and accomplishments and “forget” about God in the process. At work it usually shows up in wanting to be the center of attention, or fighting to make sure I get “ALL” the recognition I think I deserve for certain accomplishments. For those of you who might not know exactly what the Webster dictionary definition of proud is, here it is:
Proud – feeling pleasure or satisfaction over something regarded as highly honorable or creditable to oneself. Having, proceeding from, or showing a high opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, or superiority.
As I continued to ponder this thought throughout the rest of the message, it became apparent to me that this was such a simple statement, but it had such a profound impact on me. This is what I needed to help me start to wrestle with and recognize this pride issue, with which God has been dealing with me. I added my own name to the verse above…“When Ron is proud, he forgets God”!
? He has fed me and made me who I am today.
? He has fed me and given me the success I have today.
? He has fed me and given me the blessings I take for granted today.
? He has fed me and paid the ultimate price on the cross so I can live today.
Wow, what an awesome Father that He would give me so much and bring me to the place where I am as I write this. And wow, how much hurt I must cause Him when I become prideful and forget Him. Can you imagine investing that much time, resources and even your life for someone, just to have them forget you in their own pride? I tried to put this in human terms and picture this with my 5 year old son. There are so many examples of how much time and energy that I have and will need to invest in my son to make him successful one day, successful as a father, husband, worker or even an athlete. I can picture the traumatic and deep hurt I would feel if he became so proud of himself that he forgot about the time and efforts I invested in him to help him on his journey. That would be devastating to me. Even the hypothetical thought that I am going through right now as I write this brings emotion to me if my son would treat me that way.
I know God loves and cares for me even more than I can humanly feel for my own son. So, I can only imagine the pain and emotion He must feel when I forget about the price He paid, the successes He has given, and the blessings He has bestowed on me because of my pride. How arrogant of me to turn it around and make it all about Ron, as though I am a big deal. How shallow of me to think any other way than the Living God of the universe Who made me exactly who I am today. Bottom-line, it is not about me or it shouldn’t be, but I have to admit I often make it about me.
Here are some additional verses from the Bible on pride (NIV) version:
Look at every proud man and humble him, crush the wicked where they stand.
But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy great peace
You rebuke the arrogant, who are cursed and who stray from your commands.
My heart is not proud, O LORD, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me.
Though the LORD is on high, he looks upon the lowly, but the proud he knows from afar.
The LORD sustains the humble but casts the wicked to the ground.
For the LORD takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with salvation.
He mocks proud mockers but gives grace to the humble.
To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.
The wise in heart accept commands, but a chattering fool comes to ruin.
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.
He who listens to a life-giving rebuke will be at home among the wise.The fear of the LORD teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honor.
Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Better to be lowly in spirit and among the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud.
Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud, but humility comes before honor.