The Prideful Ways

Nearly everyday, there is a point in my life where I am shaking my head at the world. I see the things that people are doing and the ignorance that they display. I know that people do the same to me. I’m a very observant person, and it is a challenge at times to see the stupidity in others, and not have a thought of just how dumb they are. Do you do this? I struggle with this. Always have.
But really, who am I? Who am I to look at someone else and think that my ways are so much better, or my ignorance is not as severe as theirs? What I lack in one area, the other may be strong in. Today, I am going to talk about these thoughts that I have towards others, and just how sinful it is.
I have a few people that are occasionally around who love to strut their stuff. They display it, and I truly believe they have no idea that they have a, “look at me, I’m special” way about them. Or, maybe they do, and really find it pleasurable to rub their self-absorbed greatness in the faces of others? As for myself, I fully admit that there was a time in my earlier adult years where I was a narcissistic, self-centered pompous man who gave myself reasons to be better than others. I guess I formed this way of thinking because of learned behaviors that came from my environment, along with my personal insecurities? I chose to put myself around those kind of people. I grew up around those kind of people. Today, as I grow older, I try to see the good in people as much as I can. My heart is being, and has been sanctified by His love and grace, because I know that this heart of mine has been through some major changes. Only the love of God could do that. I truly give myself more time to stop and try to understand that the people I was once quick to judge, also struggle with things that make them who they are. Just like me.
I sure didn’t think much about the love of God, and how I should extend grace to others, when I chose to walk without Him in the past. Still, I have times where my flesh is right there, looking at people, with a big “really??”. Thinking to myself, “Is this really happening? Is this man or woman really doing this?” I really try to understand why they are that way, instead of just saying to myself how dumb they are. None of us are dumb. We just think about things in different ways, and sometimes we lack understanding in areas, leading us to think others are dumb, and making ourselves look dumb.
I know now that we are all full of pride. It took a better understanding of The Bible to understand that to a higher perspective. We are all full of this sinful nature that brings us to points in our walk that makes us think that we are above others.
We live in a world that is always conditioning us to compete. To glorify our egos. To look better than the next. To be what the person on the magazine cover, or what the Hollywood star looks like. We put students in a room and give awards to the smartest ones, to show the others how their level of intelligence didn’t measure up. We are so full of this pride that we really don’t look at, or want to know what God thinks. I strut mine, and you strut yours, and the carnal world tells us that it is totally acceptable.
Jesus had a lot to say about equality, humility, being humble and not thinking you are better than the next. I could point out a lot of verses. Hopefully though, you already know what the Bible says? I will say that in our walk as Christ followers, that we, in our pride, push to do what only Christ could do. Not sin. It is impossible to not sin. Go read and understand Genesis, and you will see why. Many Christians these days go around displaying their righteousness for all of the world to see, which is a big form of pride. They say that they are so well-disciplined, and go for days or weeks not sinning, or attend church so often that their accountability prevents them from sinning. How prideful it is to think that anyone could do what only Jesus did. I sometimes think that some of the greatest measures of pride are found in many of the church buildings of today, with the practices implicated by the prideful men who lead them. The world of competition has walked into the churches, and runs the show, right there in the body of believers. Do we not know that we are born into sin, live in sin, and die in sin? Why is there so much emphasis on the pastors, programs, money, organizations, and institutionalized practices? Pride, I believe. “Religion”, or keeping a bunch of rules, destroys the “relationship” He longs for me to have with Him. Did Jesus not explain this to the prideful Pharisees?
I see how merciful the Lord is when I fail Him, and He knows that I am trying, and failing. I am slipping, and not feeling real good about it. I have a heart of repentance, and sometimes do the same thing I have already attempted to turn away from. I am still reaping what I have sown in my ignorance, and the lingering pride is still there. He sees that, far deeper than I do, or ever will. He no longer sees me in my sin, but sees me as His son. He sees my simple faith in Jesus, and what He has done. It is no longer me who has the control in my free-will, it is He who is changing me into what I could never be, because I love Him now. He is the true power, that the prideful world will tell you is found within yourself, without Him. He is the one who tells me that I need to give up the harmful seeds that I plant within myself when I look down on others. He is the One who tells me that our works are like “filthy rags”. He is why I am letting go of the thoughts of people being ignorant, and realizing that it is a timely process, and a totally different experience for each individual. My experience has brought me to a place of thinking deeply about the pride of the world, and within.

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