Now that we know who we are in Christ and have our heads on straight, we can start to deal with laying down our sin. We’ll begin exploring this more broadly next week, but today we start with one sin in particular: Pride.
Every act of pride is an act of rebellion. We’re not talking about taking pride in your work or being proud of your kids—we’re talking about the kind of pride that says, “This is mine and only mine. I am right. I, and I alone, deserve this.” Or it may fly the other way. We might be so filled with self-hatred that we say to God, “You can’t help me. You can’t love me. No-one can. I am alone and I will stay that way. Because at least that’s mine.”
Now, most of us don’t actually talk this way—we don’t want to seem proud, after all—but think about your last angry or bitter reaction, whether anyone saw it or not. How does it stack up against our thoughts above? How did you say or think it? For that matter, think about why we shy away from discussion on religion or politics—or bully our way right through. Because our way, our beliefs, are threatened.
But God is not threatened or intimidated. God can take care of Himself—and us. But we must lay down our pride and let Him.
“The sacrifices God desires are a humble spirit – O God, a humble and repentant heart you will not reject” (Psalm 51:17, NET). Repentance is not just turning back; more importantly, it is starting over.
Again, if change is only in our heads, it’s a short-lived change at best. But when our hearts and spirits change, our bodies (and heads) follow. Our “sacrifice” becomes something we do joyfully instead of grudgingly. When we lay down our pride and become willing to change, our desire to put ourselves above others drops. Through humility, we put ourselves in the same boat as those we used to separate ourselves from, and we no longer desire to see that boat sink.
Lay It Down Today
Find a mirror, and then take a good five minutes to look at it—or rather, at you. Don’t fix anything. Don’t primp. And don’t make faces. Just look. At you. Spend enough time looking that you’re no longer comfortable with what you see. Or, if you already hate looking at yourself, spend enough time that you’re able to see the person God created—the person behind what you see. Either way, take the time now to see yourself differently—from God’s perspective.
Then, pray. Ask God to help you not forget the person you are in His eyes. Ask Him to give you the strength to lay down your pride and live out the word He’s given you. Take some time tonight (or tomorrow night, if it’s already evening) to “reflect” on how God uses you in the next 24 hours. May God bless you as you live out His life today.