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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

The Solution to Pride

Jonathan Santiago - Digital Product Designer

But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6 NASB).

What would cause God to be opposed to us? According to James, it is pride.

As fallen humans, our sins have separated us from God. He is holy and cannot abide with sin. To bridge that gap, we know that God came to us in human form to bear our iniquities and unite us back to Himself. In the same way that sin affronts a holy God, pride opposes God. Proverbs 6:16-17 says that a proud look (or haughty eyes) is an abomination to Him (he detests it).

If Tarzan were to teach a Bible study, he might phrase it this way: “Humility, good. Pride...ba-aad!” Yes, humility is good, so that means we should concentrate on being humble, right? Not necessarily.

I’ve found when I focus solely on being humble, I’m still focused solely on myself. At the end of the day, that’s still pride. It’s all about me. This can be a dangerous trap for Christians. Because we all know that he who is greatest must be a servant (Matthew 20:27), we may tend to boast in a false sense of humility. Over time, this can lead to a lack of true servitude towards one another. We can acquire a mindset of, “I’m more important than you because I serve more than you"... pride. So, what do we to focus on in order to be genuinely humble? Love.

Love takes my focus off of me and onto somebody else. Humility is a result of true love. Here is the checklist for love:

Love is patient, love is kind, it is not jealous; love does not brag, it is not arrogant. It does not act disgracefully, it does not seek its own benefit; it is not provoked, does not keep an account of a wrong suffered, it does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth (1 Corinthians 13:4-6 NASB).

If we learn to love well, we won’t brag about our actions. We won’t be self-seeking or jealous. Our actions will be done in kindness. We will not be easily provoked, and we will not be arrogant. It’s important to note that these are all effects of love. Love is selfless in its very nature. When we are acting selflessly, there is no room for pride.

Focusing inward without love can actually lead to selfishness. Focusing outwardly in love will lead to selflessness, and a genuine, passionate humility will be the byproduct. A humble heart will be a byproduct of following the two great commandments: loving God first, and loving others second (Matthew 22:37-39).

God’s very nature is love: The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love (1 John 4:8 NASB).

I don’t want God to oppose me. I want to be humble. I want more of God’s grace. I want God to perfect His love in me.

If you do too, maybe you’d like to pray this prayer:

Father, I ask You to perfect Your love in me. Please reveal pride in my life and allow me to humble myself by the power of Your Holy Spirit. I want more of Your grace, more of Your favor. Help me to love better. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Copyright © 2012, Jonathan Santiago, used by permission.

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