Posts Tagged ‘pride’

  

“When people commend themselves, it doesn’t count for much. The important thing is for the Lord to commend them.” ‭‭(2 Corinthians‬ ‭10:18‬ ‭NLT‬‬)

At the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Usain Bolt proved his dominance in the 100m and 200m, bringing two gold medals back to Jamaica. But with his personal achievements came his personal praises: “It’s what I came here to do. I’m now a legend, I’m also the greatest athlete to live…I’ve got nothing left to prove. I’ve showed the world I’m the best and, right now, I just want to enjoy myself.”

There’s nothing wrong with being praised for doing a good job. But when egos do the talking, it makes it hard for others to cheer too. Even when someone is truly that spectacular at something, boasting will come back to haunt them. 

Self-hatred and arrogance are both deadly traps. You are never as bad, or good, as you think! The greatest praise we can hear comes from our Heavenly Father! He’s ready to applaud your actions! You are loved!

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“Behold, I am vile…I lay my hand over my mouth. I have uttered what I did not understand…therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” (Job‬ 40‬:‭4‬; 42:3,6 NKJV)

Francois Fénelon describes self-righteousness thus: 

“[We] start to mistreat the people we are secretly jealous of. Jealousy, hidden in your deepest inner folds, exaggerates the least faults of others. Then come the disguised criticisms. You deceive yourself in order to justify yourself. There is no end to the excuses we come up with. Even your outrage at the faults of others is a great fault. Don’t you see your own wretchedness? It would certainly level your self-righteousness to the ground.”

Job demonstrates the escape from the jail of self-righteousness. Instead of judging the leaders of his land that were less righteous than he, instead of despising the friends that hurt him wrongly, he instead allowed God to show him his own faults and bring personal revelation: We Are No Better Than They. He repents of presumption, adopts grace toward others, and allows God to keep him truly righteous. 

When we forgive out of the shame of our arrogance and in the joy of being truly forgiven ourselves, we sever the root of self-righteousness. You are only good because of God! Be free and sweet through grace! You are loved! 

  

“Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done.” (Galatians‬ ‭6‬:‭4‬ NLT)

When Joseph Schmidt came to Seabury Hall Prep School in Hawaii, looking for a challenge, he got just that, weathering financial hardships, empowering the student body, rounding up support for large capital improvement projects and transforming the school into what it is today. Twenty years later and heading into retirement, the 65-year-old California native has raised over $55 million to build a new upper and middle school classroom complex, eliminated its debt, increased its financial aid budget from $450,000 to more than $1 million, and doubled the size of the campus to about 65 acres! A job well done indeed!

Each one of us has the potential to do wonderful things with our lives. It’s simply a matter of doing it. By applying biblical principles, like today’s text, we position ourselves into a place where God can lead and bless our work. It’s His desire to do so!

Whatever your job or efforts are this week, whether building a company or wrangling grandkids, do it with love, pride, excellence, and for God’s glory! Seize your opportunities and feel good about it! You are loved and blessed today! 

  

“All the people…in pride and arrogance of heart…are destroyed.” (Isaiah‬ ‭9‬:‭9, 16‬ NKJV)

Throughout history, men only needed two things to become a military officer: money and title. With no experience whatsoever, men have led troops around the world, and lives were wasted for the sake of privileged arrogance that desired adventurous renown. Such was the case at the Battle of Königgrätz of 1866.

As the Prussian (German) army advanced against Austria, the great Austrian General, Von Benedek, prepared a strategy to defeat the powerful invaders. It would have worked, except two Counts, Von Thun and Von Festetics, desiring glory, attacked without direction. As a result, the Austrians lost the battle, their sovereignty, and Benedek would be blamed for the loss, demoted, and died a broken, shamed man. 

As you live your week, know that your actions create reactions in the lives of others, both good and bad. Rash actions are usually based in pride and never lead to good. Live as a child of God, whose ripples bless those around them! You are loved today! 

  

John did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, ‘I am not the Messiah.'” (John‬ ‭1‬:‭20‬ NIV)

A pastor friend once shared with me a humorous hospital story. One of his members had been in an accident and was rushed to the ER. When my friend got the call and arrived at the hospital, he found the frantic family. As he walked through the doors, there was the loud, collective, audible sigh of relief from this large group as someone spotted him and cried out, “Everything’s gonna be okay; the pastor’s here!”

The danger of a Messiah Complex is that we truly begin to believe we are “saviors”. And we really run afoul when we try to deliver people out of predicaments that God NEEDED for them to encounter to build their faith! We are not saviors, but Hands of the Savior, being used by God to touch lives so that their allegiance is given to Him, not us. 

Attention feels good, and to be seen as important to others is flattering. But the life of a servant is a life hidden in the Master’s shadow. We fail by accepting the spotlight. Point the way to God by impacting people’s lives and you will share in the Master’s joy! You are loved! 

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But when you give to someone in need…give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.” (Matthew‬ ‭6‬:‭3-4‬ NLT)

Last year, a study in New Scientist revealed that people who engage in online activism for a charity are less likely to give than those who don’t. When asked to sign a given petition of their choice and then donate to the cause, overall giving of the signers was 30 percent lower than non-signers. In other words, signing the petition had made them noticeably stingier.

There are continuous needs around us all our life. Some we have a passion for. But our intention should never be to gain attention to our own image for helping. The ultimate goal should always be to meet needs where the needy are benefitted but God gets the glory.

The main emphasis of this scripture, however, is to be a giver. Be willing to give of your time, talents, and treasures to the projects or people that God lays on your heart. Your reward is in seeing people blessed, and then feeling the warmth of approval from your Heavenly Father! Be a giver this week! You are loved!

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Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven.” (Matthew‬ ‭6‬:‭1‬ NLT)

I hate photo-ops. To do something good for people is a passion for me. But to pause for a photograph of it so we can stick it in the newspaper is actually hard for me to do. Yet, people like to see in the paper the good things going on in our world today, knowing it’s already chock full of the negative stuff anyways. That’s why I do them.

When we help others, we are essentially helping ourselves. God blesses us for what we do, and will cause others to do the same for us when we are in desperate times. We all desire affirmation, to feel good by the praises or appreciative comments for things we’ve done. But people’s emotions are finicky at best, judging our worth on a daily basis and usually on a selfish level. God, however, is the source of our greatest compliments, His opinion being of infinite value beyond anyone else’s!

It’s ok if someone sees you doing good. The redeeming quality of a photo-op is that it might cause others to do good too! But if we hunger for the praise of others more than from God, then our priorities are wrong and our gifts given have no reward. Be a giver in all the right ways! You are loved and blessed today!