Pride is an American institution. We have self-made men. We have stars. We have prima donnas. We have divas. We are the wealthiest nation on earth. We put those who look good on camera into the spotlight and make them our role models. We lift up the athlete, the actor, and the musician up on pedestals for everyone to marvel at. We ignore the many faithful teachers, nurses, moms and dads, and sanitation workers. Yet, where would we be without these folks? Yes, pride is an American institution.
I wonder if we have given real thought into the many times that God has specifically singled out the proud person for criticism in His Word. Even during the first Christmas God’s opinion of the proud is clear. God picked a poor Jewish woman to carry His Son. He picked a poor Jewish carpenter to be Jesus’ step-dad. He picked shepherds (not the upper class by any stretch of the imagination) to be the first strangers to visit the new King. In fact, the only people of any substance to be involved in the blessed event were foreigners who would not have been well respected in Israel.
Mary said something interesting in her song of praise when she and Elizabeth spent some time together before the birth of their babies. She said that God “has filled the hungry with good things.” and, “has sent away the rich empty-handed.” That makes me think about how often I come to God truly admitting my hunger. Do I really admit how much I need Him? Or do I come with my pride and say, “I’m okay. I just need a little of God today.” What a joke! I don’t need a little of God. I need as much of God as He is willing to give me. I am wretched, naked, and blind. I need His healing. I need His strength. I am in desperate need of nothing less than all of Him! Yet, do I keep propping myself up in my unwillingness to be honest about my need?
What about you? Does humility or pride mark how you approach God? Do you admit your neediness to Him? He fills the hungry with good things while He sends the rich away empty-handed. Does the thought of that fill you with gratitude or resentment? If you are rich, are you asking, “Why doesn’t He receive me too?” Maybe that’s the point. Isn’t it time we admit our constant need of Him?
Something to think about,
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