Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
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October 30 – Our Struggles With Pride

“Do not put yourself forward in the presence of the king, and stand not in the place of great men: for it is better that it be said to you, ‘Come up here,’ than that you should be put lower in the presence of the prince, whom your eyes have seen.”  Proverbs 25:6,7

Devotional Thought For The Day

This is simple common sense wisdom, good advice that the Lord Jesus also commended to all of us [Luke 14:8-10].  However, this is also a warning in regard to prideful ambition, having such desire to be among the big shots that one is willing to push himself forward and upward.  The danger is that such behavior may publicly reveal that you have a much higher opinion of yourself than anyone else does. Such pride is frequently warned against: “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” [Prov. 16:8] What is much better, even though it may involve the frustration of being “passed over” on many occasions, is allowing others to note your acumen, your wisdom, and your importance – and for them to insist that you be elevated.  If one is never noticed and brought forward it is possible that others are simply myopic or motivated by their own wrong desires; or it may be that your opinion of yourself really is much too high.

All of this brings forward the difficulty of human pride – which most of us have opportunity to struggle with.  There is a fine balance that needs to be maintained.  We should utilize our gifts and talents for the benefit of others, and offer insights and ideas that are helpful; however, it is also true that there are times when we are in need of the wisdom and insights of others.  In addition to keeping pride in check, we should not be so “humble” and meek as to allow obvious foolishness to destroy others without at least warning them, even if they are not inclined to listen to us.  There are times when we observe the same foolish pride in others – but we should do what we can to help others avoid “destruction and fall.”  How we do this – avoiding pretense and sinful pride – is as important as the corrective advice we are offering.

The cure for human pride [inflated self-esteem] is repentant recognition of our own sin, faults, foibles, frailties, and failures, and basking in the warmth of God’s gracious forgiveness, mercy, and love.  Then our focus shifts from “self-esteem” to consideration of the esteem that God has for us.  Our sense of confidence, peace, joy, and importance is not based in “self,” something in us, but rather in God’s Word, His heart, His love for us, and the importance He places upon us.  This is both humbling and invigorating – keeping pride in check but encouraging us to use the gifts God has given us for the good of others. The key to this is to know and believe the love that God has for us in Christ Jesus, to understand what He was willing to endure for our sin out of His great esteem for us.  The psalmist had it right:  “What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You care for him?  Yet You have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.” [Psalm 8:4,5]

May God grant us wisdom in this matter of pride, that we maintain proper control over the foolishness of our sinful pride, and discover the freedom and joy of contemplating His great esteem for us.

Prayer For The Day

Dear Lord Jesus, forgive us for the wicked and unseemly pride that dwells within us, and preserve us from its devastating consequences.  Grant us humility like Your own, that our consolation and joy be in Your love alone.  Keep us ready to help at all times, without pushing ourselves forward. Help us to follow in Your footsteps.  Amen.