You are [not] awesome!

Originally published on BibleJournal.net

Today’s reading: Numbers 4; Psalm 38; Song of Solomon 2; Hebrews 2

April 27th, 2016

pride puffed up

This is not meant to be mean nor an accusation, simply a truth that the deceiver would have us reject for a puffed up view of ourselves. You and I, we are not awesome. Psalm 38 is a great example of living by this truth.

David starts by acknowledging his wretchedness as he begs God not to chasten him in His hot displeasure. He then proceeds to address his hopeless condition, his self imposed troubles are too heavy for him. He proclaims God as his only hope, dismissing all the worldly places to turn to for refuge and help including his own self. As he stills himself, he begs God to hear him in the intensity of his troubles where a single slip leads to the advance of the enemy. He puts all his trust in God. Rejecting the world and himself. He needs God and he knows it. He knows God is the source for all good that he so desperately needs. Do you need God? 

Pride and Self Righteousness

Pride leads one to believe they do not need God. Self righteousness is the form of pride that takes this lie and projects it out in a way that attempts to steal what is God’s. Wherein self dares look out towards our fellows and up toward God as if to say “look at me.” 

Let’s define self righteousness in terms of God’s love. He so loved a wretch like me that He gave His only Son to save me while I was still a sinner. All the while He knew that I would take this amazing gift of His love and parade it around as if it was my own. He knew this and He still paid for me. He purchased me and you with His only Son. Praise God for His unconditional love! He is love! Self righteousness is pride that attempts to steal God’s goodness for ourselves. We are not worthy. (Revelation 4:11Self righteousness is parading around as if you are a source of good. Do not be deceived. All good is from God. (James 1:17)

In George Whitfield’s famous sermon, Method of Grace, he describes self-righteousness as “the last idol taken out of your heart.” Many a scholar believe pride to be the great sin. Self righteousness then seems to be the worst sort of pride. Wretched and perverted stuff indeed. 

Proprietorship

A false sense of ownership seems to be at the core of pride and self righteousness. You know your Bible and have understanding where another perhaps does not, are you doing better than they are? You gave that homeless person some food and shelter, you’re doing pretty well huh? No actually, God prepared that good work for you ahead of time. (Ephesians 2:8-10) It is His, not yours. (James 1:17

Did you know that the most used words in our language are I, me, my and mine? How ugly is that? Pride is to be hated. (Proverbs 8:13, Proverbs 16:5) Why does God hate pride? Why is God jealous? (Deuteronomy 4:24) Why does God guard His name jealously? (Ezekiel 39:25) God is love. If people are supposed to know we are His disciples by how we love (John 13:35), what happens when we try to have the source of that love point to us?

Extra credit:

  1. A simple exercise. Try to not use the words I, me, my or mine today.
  2. Self examination in pride. A checklist for self examination in pride: Manifestations of Pride from Exemplary Husband.
  3. Read George Whitefield’s sermon, Method of Grace, where he lays out the steps on how to obtain the peace that transcends all understanding among the devil’s worst attacks of self deception, including self righteousness.
  4. A question to wrestle with. Should we be praising each other? To win friends our culture points to praise and feeding another’s ego as go-to secrets to success, but what does the Bible say? Here’s one verse to consider in your study. Proverbs 29:5 What is the difference between praise and encouragement?
  5. Further readings on proprietorship in pride.
    1. All good is from God. What should we do when we receive false praise for good? One response to consider, redirect it to make sure it goes where it belongs by saying praise God
    2. God is sovereign. He owns it all. Learn this truth and be freed from the woes of comparison and jealousy.

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