Pride (Part II)

Last week we talked about the origin of pride.  We also looked in Proverbs and saw how it is unwise to be proud and arrogant.  There are many Scriptures that warn us about being self-important and self-sufficient.  We need God every moment of every day! Pride is indeed deceptive and the Word helps us guard our hearts against it.

Pride can be an attitude of thinking one is better than others.  It can also be a self-centeredness that ignores others and their needs.  See how God describes Israel through the prophet Ezekiel:  “As I live, says the Lord God, Sodom your sister has not done, she nor her daughters, as you have done, you and your daughters.  Behold, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom:  pride, overabundance of food, prosperous ease, and idleness were hers and her daughters’; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.”                                         Ezekiel 16: 48-50

In some ways, we are no different.  The overall prosperity in the “developed” nations has blinded people to the needs of others.  Somehow, the blessings are expected and are thought of as self-provided.  A grateful heart and an awareness of the Source of our blessings is essential to balanced attitudes.

In II Chronicles, King Hezekiah was rescued by God against the Assyrians.  Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah cried out to God for help and God sent an angel to fight for Judah and its people.  After that, many brought gifts to the Lord and to Hezekiah.   The king was then magnified in the sight of all the nations.  Then:

“In those days, Hezekiah was sick to the point of death; and he prayed to the Lord and He answered him and gave him a sign.  But Hezekiah did not make return (to the Lord) according to the benefit done to him, for his heart became proud (at such a spectacular response to his prayer); therefore there was wrath upon him and upon Judah and Jerusalem.  But Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride in his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the Lord came not upon them in the days of Hezekiah.”                                          II Chronicles 32:24-26

Yes, we can even become prideful when God answers our prayers!  Ministering to others can only happen because of the presence of the Lord in us.  Our role is loving relationship and obedience.  Jesus describes ministry as such:  “Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly in heart), and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls.  For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good—not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne.”                                                                          Matthew 11:29-30

We can learn much from the One Who is humble and gracious.  Pastor Laurie

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