“Some trust in chariots and horses. But we will remember the name of the Lord our God.”
I had a great day last Sunday. It was a awesome sermon, I had a relationship get a tune up, a great ministry opportunity with a brother in need, a date/shopping day with my wife, and lots of energy to enjoy a 75 degrees cloudless-blue-sky-day. In one word it was almost a perfect day. A great sense of joy and pride seem to pour out of ever pore. If everyday was this way, I could only imagine how things would turn out.
However, it’s not the norm. I wonder if pride is something that humans can’t handle on their own? I wonder if our gravitation toward sin causes us to screw up a good thing? That makes sense because somehow it doesn’t take too long before I find a way to screw it all up.
Think about it. Even Lucifer, who was God’s top angel, was ruined because of pride. It went to his head. Lucifer thought he was capable of things that only God Himself could manage. If it is eating him up and destroying his sanity even today, how can we expect to wield such a device? The very course of human history is in hostility because someone had that ego to satisfy.
Real Pride is a healthy sense of self. It is confident in what it is able to do and not do. Pride makes statements that put the person in almost a egotistical light. You can see where that line between self and sin becomes paper thin and razor sharp. It puts “I”, that one letter word, as the pedestal on which a person states who they really are.
So, when Jesus made statements like, “I am the Bread of Life”, “I am the Light of the world” or more radical still, “I am the Son of God”, He could almost come off as a prideful man trying to bring attention to himself. From an outsiders place, it’s easy to see how pride might be the downfall of even a perfect person.
Yet, think about this, what is God’s name? He is the Great I Am. He is life and we all derive our being, our human being, from His name and words themselves. Only a perfect person can have a healthy sense of pride. He or she can speak about themselves because it is truth and without any hint of sin lurking under their tongue. When Jesus spoke with this confidence, He did so with the power of that perfect pride bolstering him from the inside out. His pride hard a greater self than any man could boast about.
The world is full of prideful people. There is a generation so into themselves that they were dubbed, “The Me Generation.” It’s easy to listen to a sense pride that says it’s all about you. You can do it. You don’t need anyone else. It is sort of like a disease that ruins a good people who listen to it’s soothing voice. In the end it leads us far away from the One who truly is good. It likes to hide even in nice pleasant places just under the surface.
As a believer I shy away from telling about my accomplishes for fear it will leak out pride. We all want to share what we are doing and how the Lord is using it. Pride is a normal part of a healthy conversation. There is a good sense of pride in a job well done. But it’s something so sneaky that it can turn our words sour and worm it’s way into the light.
With that in mind I am, that is the little I am, is always afraid of my pride. I know there are wonderful things that God is doing that I want to say are working in me. I want to say, almost boastfully, that I am a child of God. I want to say that I am able to walk by faith, I am an overcomer of sin, I am able to all things…but wait, how does that verse end? “…through Christ who strengthens me.”
David said that God stooped down to make him great. This came from a man who was far from perfect, yet he did not base this on his ability or pride. So, between David’s weakeness and Jesus’ humility we have examples of the power of God to make people great. Greatness and pride do go hand in hand. You have the confidence that anything is possible and even, get this, the impossible that would never come into your mind.
Lord, help us to have a healthy sense of pride. Fill this little i am with the Great I Am. Make us strong and confident from the inside out, for your glory and not ourselves. I pray that all the fake self can’t bear up under the fire that comes with who you are. Refine your children to handle one of the most powerful tools and build something incredible. Great I am come and fill this little i am.