What is pride and how can it affect our lives? Pride Is exalting oneself above how God sees you and pushes you to move beyond the boundaries of how He wishes you to act.
Pride is the real “silent killer” because it slips in unawares and wrecks everything around you. We might fall into a belief that exalts ourselves above others and soon we start treating people with less respect, or act in a way that is unbecoming of who we are in God. It can be very subtle.
Pride causes us to act in ways that are self seeking, self serving and ultimately not in line with our true goals or the goals that God has for us. For instance, at work our boss may give us instructions to do things one way, but we think we can do it another way because we want to be the boss. This is not in line with the goal of getting that task done, it is subverting that task.
Pride taints things with selfish motives.
One great practical way to deal with pride is to refrain from taking the opportunity to exalt yourself. Either in word or in deed, or in heart. For example, to exalt ourselves with our words can be belittling others while talk about how good we are at something. In deeds we might communicate the same thing, only this time with our actions. This might include drawing attention to yourself or trying to make yourself look better than others, or doing things towards people that demonstrate a belief in their “littleness.” And in the heart is where this all starts, which is why we must keep a close watch on what enters our minds and is given permission to stay.
Arousing the flesh often invokes more pride because it enlarges our selfish will and changes our perspective on what we think we need to be happy. The bigger the self the more the self must be satisfied. And vice versa, the more we satisfy ourselves the bigger the self that desires to be satisfied. In reality, we often need very little to be satisfied, but when we give ourselves pleasures beyond what is necessary, we raise the bar for what we think we need to be happy. This calls for humility in our spirits and self control.
Please do not fall into condemnation at this point. But perhaps try to think of ways to refrain from indulging in activities that excite the flesh beyond measure.
What is the flesh? The flesh is our body that wants to be gratified. It is the soul without God that wants to rule its own domain. This is the home of pride, because it cannot live in our spirit.
Also we can implicitly exalt ourselves, this is a little more tricky, because it demands that when others praise us, or we praise ourselves with first thoughts, we must actively reject such ideas or else they will stick to our mental perception of the world.
Another helpful tool is to refashion our mind according to God’s perspective, romans 12:2.
Through the lens of God’s word and that Word manifested through the communication of others, we can reorient our vision to see things more clearly. In this perspective, all is a gift from God, even our very breath. So there is no reason to think that we are solely responsible for any of our talents or great accomplishments.
Another helpful tool is to be watchful of activities that might subconsciously be seeking praise. Sometimes we do things under a guise, in the hopes that people will offer us praise. We musts examine our motives and be willing to be brutally honest with ourselves, in the pursuit of wisdom and humility. If we find that our actions are tainted with selfish motives, it might be best to refrain from engaging in such habits until our motives are reoriented.
Lastly, we must love God, because in His presence, His love satisfies us with a joy that drowns out any desire for self exaltation. Why eat crumbs when you can have the whole cake? In His presence we realize how utterly weak a joy it is to dip in the pool of self praise.
People are ultimately creatures of desire and when juxtaposed with the greatest desire of joy with God from His love, the realm of self exaltation is seen as a stumbling block to real happiness. This is where we must strive to always be, because it leads to true fulfillment and purpose in life.
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