It never ceases to amaze me how easily pride weasels its way into my thoughts. It’s a huge obstacle to knowing God and understanding his Word. When I think of pride in my life, I see it as a mountain God is chipping away at. But, even that is not a good comparison. Pride is more like a contaminant in our water – it’s everywhere and impossible for us to control. We may focus on the well we drink from daily and put all our efforts into purifying it. But what good is that when it’s in every ocean, lake and river on the planet. What’s worse is a soon as we get that one well cleaned up, we can’t help but feel proud and it’s contaminated once again.
One of the most helpful practices I’ve learned, that has made a huge difference in my Bible reading, is figuring out
who I relate to in the stories I read.
Many are about Jesus’ mercy and grace for sinners. But, funny thing is (actually sad is a better word) is I usually identify with the person that didn’t have the problem. Think of the account of the good Samaritan – only one person helped the injured man. Would that have been you? With the prodigal son – do you relate to the wild son that squandered his inheritance or the older brother that did not? How about Jesus’ crucifixion? Are you naturally one of the few people that supported him or are you the guy that shoved the spear in his side?
My point is, assume you’re the person Jesus is correcting.
I’m the leper, the sinner, the foolish person that won’t listen.
Does that ruffle your feathers? Good…now you’ve met your pride. We can’t get rid of something we refuse to acknowledge exists. Seeing our pride is step one. It’s been probably 20 years and I am hopeful I can move to step two, but I don’t know. Seeing and acknowledging pride is one of the few things we can do. The rest needs to be given to God for him to deal with. God is so good to us and loves us so much! But let’s remember that is his choice. It does not hinge on who we are or what we do. We need to be on our knees more than any other position, thanking God for his mercy and grace.