Pride…how it trips us all up. Pride is really the root of all our sin against God, thinking we know better than Him, choosing our path over His. We often take our first prideful steps without even realizing it. There we all are, kneeling before His throne as we should be, worshiping the Almighty God with every thought and desire, when, we think, wow, kneeling isn’t really very comfortable.
And we look around.
Once our eyes are off God, things only go downhill. Hey wait, I see someone way over there standing! And he seems ok. So I stand up, and God doesn’t seem to do anything and I do enjoy standing. Then I think, how cool God’s throne is and how nice it would be to be closer. So I take a step that way, and God seems to do nothing. On and on I continue to try Him, until I am at the first step of His throne. And I think, maybe I could just sit on this bottom step…so I can watch everyone worshiping God, like I am. (Personally, I don’t think God would ever let us go this far, but let’s say He does.) Yep, up one step, up another. Soon there I am considering sitting on His throne, with Him, of course. Well, maybe it would be more comfortable if He moved.
Pride is on my mind this morning as I read Acts 12:1-2 – pretty straight-forward verses really. “It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them. He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword.” But what popped into my head, (my moment of glancing around and thinking about standing up) was wow, this guy dedicates his life to God and his death is given 13 words and that’s that? I mean, even Judas has a small section about him dying and he betrayed Jesus.
It seems he deserves more credit.
Indeed, James was a faithful servant and served God well. I’m sure he received his reward as a Christian, eternity in heaven with God, probably a “Well done good and faithful servant”. After all, it is
God that deserves the praise, not ourselves.
But, that’s the problem, living a humble life is just plain a constant challenge for all people.
No matter how good or bad life is at the moment, there is always someone whose life is worse. That temptation to make ourselves feel better by comparing ourselves and looking down on others is hard to get past. It’s just got to be a
of ours that God keeps us humble and content. The more honest we are, the more we can admit, pride is usually running rampant in our hearts and minds. No worries, though, because God certainly has His ways of reminding us of our true position, below Him, and equal with all our brothers and sisters. It’s not that God finds any pleasure in watching us trip and fall on our faces. But, in truth it is
that rightly deserves ALL glory, praise and recognition. Every word. Every praise. All His. If God chooses to lift us up, that’s His decision. But there is not a circumstances that we should seek our own glory, whether it’s in our minds alone or just receiving praise from a well-meaning person and not immediately deflecting that back to God.
We need to get comfortable on our knees, in the dirt, last in line, with the smallest portion. We can work on thinking less of ourselves and more of others. Look at that person in complete despondency, in the depths of sin and bondage, and practice knowing… we are no better, because we aren’t.
God values every human life.
Your life is worth just as much as that ruler and that drug addict. No better and no worse. There are not levels of people in God’s eyes – we are all on one level and He is infinitely above us. Our attempts to get up higher than any other person is a complete waste of time and absolute foolishness. It’s an insult to our awesome God. Let’s get comfortable on our knees, really, really comfortable. It truly is the only position we should know.