So often people get the concept of pride confused with gratitude. When we have worked hard to accomplish something, we feel proud or grateful that we have accomplished this thing, and so it gives us joy and makes us happy. We are proud of our accomplishments. But when we have the type of pride that turns us into self-righteous snobs, then it is not an attitude of gratitude but of position that gives us the pompous licence to look down on others. And just like the Bible says, this type of pride comes before a fall. It kills!
- Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.—Proverbs 16:18
But there is another kind of pride that also destroys and it is far more common than the other two. It’s the cause of many people being hurt and even destroyed. This is the pride that says, “I don’t need your help; I can do it myself.” It’s the pride that takes great offense to any remarks or suggestions given and doesn’t let us see that when someone is offering to help it just might be a deed of kindness and not an act of ridicule.
This kind of pride usually stems from a deep hurt that has caused us to not be able to do the things that we want to do. Maybe it’s a physical disability, a financial hardship or a hurt from the past that has left us broken. We are disappointed in ourselves and we feel like a complete failure. So when someone comes to us and wants to help us, our back gets up and we see it as another attack against our already deplored ego, and so our heart becomes colder as our need to be self-sufficient (our pride) grows stronger.
- Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, “To day if ye will hear his voice, 8 Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: 9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. 10 Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, ‘They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways.’”—Hebrews 3:7-10
This kind of pride steals our joy and separates us from our Heavenly Father who wants to help us. When we accept the issues that torment us as a way of life instead of seeking God to remove them, we become hard-hearted and blind. We don’t see—or we don’t want to see—that God is sending people to help us. But our pride that comes from wanting to do it ourselves slowly kills us and turns us into an ungrateful wretch.
- The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.—John 10:10
We need to understand that we are all sinners saved by the grace of God and that every talent and good thing that comes to us comes from God. AND that every bad thing that comes against us comes from the devil. So when we find ourselves in a position where we can’t do the things we want to do, then we cannot give in and give the devil glory by basking in this defeat and accepting it as the way of life. We need to give it to God. We need to seek God and find out why He has allowed these things to happen.
- Casting all your care upon him; for He careth for you.—1 Peter 5:7
God has set us free. We are no longer under the curse and we can come to Him with anything and everything regardless of how big or small, or how insignificant we think it is. God always has time for us. He is NEVER too busy to listen, to care and to give us the answer. So if we can’t do something for ourselves for whatever the reason may be, He has told us to give these situations to Him and to not hoard them and get depressed and angry because of them.
- Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”).—Galatians 3:13
Our physical disability may remain for whatever reason, but our attitude, our appreciation for what God has given to us and our love for God will be changed. We will no longer be angry or critical towards others because we’ll be free from the hurts that have tormented us and deformed our ability to love others.
If we take on the attitude that people around us aren’t friendly, then we are already heading in the wrong direction. We reap what we sow and if we want people to be friendly to us, then we need to be friendly to them. And instead of turning people away when they try to help, we need to realize that they find value in us and have compassion for us and are walking in love—which we obviously are not doing.
- A man who has friends must himself be friendly.—Proverbs 18:24
We need to see the goodness in people and thank God that He has put people all around us who are people just like us with their own problems, sorrows and challenges to bear. The difference is that they just don’t let these things get them down to the point where they become the sorrow or the anger. They give them to God and receive His peace. And we can’t allow the devil to steal this from us anymore, either.
True, some people aren’t nice; some are judgmental and overbearing; others are rude and talk with a motor-mouth and with condemnation, but that’s because they have let their own problems take over. We are Christians. God is our Father and Jesus is our Lord and King and He set us free from the curses that come with this world. Instead of keeping the hurts and feeling sorry for ourselves so that we direct our angry toward those who God has sent to help us, we need to give them to God who has promised to set us free them all.
- If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.—John 8:36
As a family of God, we need to help each other because we all live in a world that is headed for destruction and we cannot be an island unto ourselves. It’s too lonely and painful. We need each other. We need to see each other as kin and lift each other up, help where we can, give when it’s available and love at all times. Then we truly will be free of the hurts that have got us down and that are trying to destroy us. Then we will see that when others offer to help, they are doing it in love.
Then the pride we once had that kept us in bondage will be gone and that painful fall that could have happened will be removed. Jesus says that we are valuable to Him, that each life was worth His dying for. The only pride that we should have as Christians should be an attitude of gratitude for the love that God has for us.
- Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.—Philippians 4:8
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