3 Ways To Combat Pride

“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭2:3-5‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Philippians 2:3 popped up as the verse of the day on my Bible app and it just fits what I have been thinking about and studying this week and that is the subject of pride.

I posted a meme yesterday that pictures a fully armored knight who got hit with an arrow in the eye slit of his helmet. It pictured a Christian who was spiritual, they got taken out with pride.

Pride – inordinate self-esteem, a reasonable or justifiable self-respect, delight or elation arising from some act or possession or relationship.

There is a fine line between self-confidence and pride. There is a fine line between self-respect and pride. It all comes down to how you portray yourself and what you say when it comes to self-confidence and self-respect. I can be sure of my abilities, happy of my accomplishments, and thankful for my possessions without being prideful.

So how to I keep from being prideful? How do I keep from getting hit with that arrow of pride?

1. Have the mindset of humility.

We see in verse 3 above that we should esteem others better than ourselves. We shouldn’t think ourselves better than anyone else! The only difference between you and someone else are the decisions you made!

In God’s eyes, we are all sinners, we all deserve Hell! Jesus Christ loved each person so much He died and rose again for each person! He paid sin’s penalty for each person! So what makes you any better than your neighbor or the person you sit with in church.

Never think you are better than someone else, because when you do, that’s when you will fall!

2. Have the mindset of helping.

Verse 4 says to look on the things of others and not your own. When I see this, I’m sure it doesn’t mean that we need to look on other people’s things to see how much better we have it than them, but to see how we can help and be a blessing to others.

It’s hard to have a mindset of pride when you are focused on helping others. Helping others helps to keep you humble. Helping others helps keep you grateful. No matter how good you have it or how much stuff you have or how good you think you are, helping others will keep your eyes on others and not on yourself!

3. Have the mindset of holiness!

In verse 5, Paul tells us to have the mind of Christ. I Peter 1:16 states ‘be ye holy, for I am holy.’ When we have a mindset of holiness, there is no room for pride. This isn’t a mindset that says ‘I’m more holy than you, you need to get on my level.’ This is a mindset that says ‘Lord, let me grow closer to you each day and use me in whatever way you like.’

Pride will eat away at your humility, your willingness to help, and your holiness. It’s a fight to stay humble, it’s a fight to help others, it’s a fight to be holy….without letting pride creep in!

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Are You Frustrated?

Many Christians are spiritually frustrated because they have frustrated the Gospel of Christ.

One of the things I work on all the time is not getting frustrated in life. If something doesn’t go the way I want it to, I get frustrated. If something happens that I don’t like or agree with, I get frustrated.

The most common definition of definition of frustrate is to induce feelings of discouragement. Many people get discouraged when something in life doesn’t go their way. I get discouraged at times also! When I do get discouraged, I have to remind myself that my hope isn’t in man or in things but that my hope is in the Lord!

In the Christian life, I believe many people get ‘burnt out’ doing the Christian duties that we hear about so often. They may get tired of doing Christian duties, they may feel like they are never going to reach that standard of Christianity that has been set by someone in their life, whether it’s their parents, a church or someone they look up to. Many decide since they can achieve the spiritual level required of them, they just won’t try any more. This is just a sad fact in Christianity today.

The reason many people give up on Christianity is not because they aren’t saved but because they have ‘frustrated the grace of God.’

“I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.”
‭‭Galatians‬ ‭2:21‬ ‭KJV‬‬

The word frustrate in this verse means to make ineffectual, to bring to nothing.

As a Christian, we have to realize that the grace of God is sufficient for us! We have to realize that there is absolutely nothing we can do for salvation. Salvation is through Christ and Christ alone. Probably my favorite thing about salvation is that since I have accepted Christ as my Saviour, I do not have to do anything to keep Christ as my Saviour. Once saved, always saved, no matter what!

What Paul is talking about here in Galatians is how they were confusing grace with the law and the law with grace. They are two different things but you have to have both to understand both! I wouldn’t know that I needed grace unless I knew that I didn’t measure up to the law.

What I do after salvation for Christ isn’t to keep my salvation but to show my love and gratitude towards Him and what He did for me.

If I think that my works after salvation do anything to keep me saved or make me any more righteous in His sight, than I have frustrated the grace of God and made it of none effect.

Christian, don’t get burnt out by getting frustrated at serving Christ! Change your mindset on why you serve Him! Don’t serve Him because YOU think you have to, to keep your righteousness. Serve HIM because you love Him and want to serve Him your gratitude for what HE has done for you.

If you are getting frustrated (discouraged) in your service to Christ, it may be that you are frustrating (making of none effect) the grace of Christ by trying to achieve righteousness through your own works.

The Grass Isn’t Always Greener

“The grass isn’t always greener on the other side!”

This is an old saying that basically reminds us to pay attention to the grass in our backyard, mind our own business and take care of our own grass.

Whenever I hear this saying, I think of a certain Bible character, Lot.

Lot was Abraham’s nephew and they were journeying through the land together. As they journeyed their flocks and their servants and their families grew. They became such a big company that their servants started arguing amongst one another and causing problems. Abraham came to Lot one day and told him to choose a direction. Whatever direction Lot choose, Abraham would choose the opposite direction.

This is the moment that would change their lives forever. There was a huge choice that would be made that would establish the direction of each man and it would determine their destiny.

“And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar.” Genesis‬ ‭13:10‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Lot made his choice by what he saw. He lifted his eyes and saw the well watered plains and the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. From where he was, everything looked good! From where Lot stood and what he saw, it was the best choice of land that he could take.

What Lot didn’t know, what Lot didn’t see, was the wickedness that was in Sodom and Gomorrah. He didn’t see his future and what could happen, he only saw what was right in front of him and he saw “green grass!”

I noticed a couple things in this story that we need to remember when it comes to making decisions in life.

Just because it looks greener, doesn’t mean it is better.

This is the obvious statement from the story. I’m sure Lot saw how good it looked when he made his choice! The Bible says Lot pitched his tent towards Sodom. I wonder if Lot would have just stayed in the plains and enjoyed the fruitfulness of the ground, how different his story would have been. But he pitched his tent towards Sodom, he saw Sodom everyday, eventually he ended up where his focus was at! I imagine everything was going good in Sodom when he first moved in but soon enough, the green washed away and he had to see the depravity and wickedness of the city, yet he chose to live there. In the end, the well watered plains were not better for Lot!

When making a decision like the direction to go in life, let the Lord lead you!

The difference between the choice that Abraham made and the choice that Lot made was the Lord led Abraham in the direction he should go.

“And the Lord said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee.” Genesis‬ ‭13:14-17‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Just like Lot, Abraham looked and he saw all the land that God was going to give him. He not only saw the land, he was told how much God was going to bless him in this land. It is amazing what happens when you let the Lord guide you as you make decisions in your life. Yes, look at the options, but let God lead.

Your decisions affect those around you.

Lot made his decision and lost his family. He had family that were destroyed in the city when God rained down fire and brimstone. Lot lost his wife as they were running away and she looked back and became a pillar of salt! Then Lot’s daughters committed a wicked act with their father! And it all started with a look!

Abraham, on the other hand, was promised by God that his seed will numbered as the dust of the ground! We see Abraham’s story throughout the rest of the Bible and now in history!

Our decisions, whether big or small, will affect those around us!

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