Join us on our new podcast each weekday for an interesting story, well told, from Charisma News. Listen at charismapodcastnetwork.com.
Do you know how much God really loves you? Do you think you have to earn God’s love? Some people think so. But God’s love was never based on our behavior. His love is based on His own nature. God is love. As love, God loves us. How much does God love us? He loved us enough to give His Son to die that we could live. How much does God really love you? God is so in love with you that He spared no expense to show you how much. How much does He love you? He loves you as much as He loves Jesus (see John 17:20-23). Wow!
In humility of mind, realizing that God is truth, you must accept what He says. Don’t fight it. Don’t debate it. In loving reverence to Him, accept it. Worship Him. He is indeed worthy. Seeing that the Father loves us so, should we not respond to Him in humbleness of mind, realizing that He invites us to walk with Him because He really wants us to? He wants to share His life with us and wants us to share our lives with Him. Let us walk with Him and walk closely to Him.
The utmost danger to the person who desires a close and intimate walk with the Lord is pride. God does not walk with the proud, but with the lowly of heart. Because pride is such an enemy to our relationship with God, we must by all means eradicate it from our hearts and minds, for we dare not lose the touch of God due to its unholy presence. Yes, beloved, pride is unholy.
But what is pride? How can we recognize it in ourselves and in others that we may be cleansed of it, avoid it and aim to help others do the same? Permit me to say that pride has infiltrated itself into every area of our existence. Pride is not a respecter of persons. It will cause anyone to fall and be destroyed who does not master it and demand of himself or herself the attitude of true greatness and strength, which is true humility of heart, the fruit of love.
There are those who will display attitudes of so-called humility by doing external things so that people may think they are humble. Our Lord spoke of this manner of people and called them hypocrites, that is, pretenders (see Matt. 6:1-18). True humility is a condition of the heart toward God and others and not merely an external façade.
Pride is an attitude that is displayed by various characteristics, such as independence (which seeks to do things alone, without the assistance of God or others), ingratitude, arrogance, haughtiness, intolerance of others, heady, high-mindedness, lack of concern for the welfare of others and unteachability.
Please do not think that this is only the condition of a person that does not know God, for there are some that name the name of Christ and still refuse to come under His Lordship by humble obedience to His will. They believe that when one tries to share with them the importance of obedience to the written Word of God, which is the perfect law of liberty, that particular individual is trying to bring them into bondage. Outside the boundary of God’s Word, you are in bondage. You can be in bondage to yourself. You can be full of yourself. This is pride. God’s Word is the truth that makes us free (see John 8:32).
Pride is also shown through ingratitude. We cannot do without Him. Let Him take from us what He has and is giving to us and we would cease to exist. May we learn to show gratitude to God the Father and all those who have helped us along the way.
A prideful person is an arrogant person who feels superior and speaks down to others. The truly humble person never looks down on people and aims to see people as the Father sees them.
Perhaps one of the greatest characteristics of the proud is that of an unteachable spirit. The ability to be and remain teachable is a mark of the humble soul. To be teachable means we listen with the intention of gaining wisdom and knowledge and then practice that which we are taught.
The Father has set up the body of Christ in such a way that makes us dependent not only on Him, but also upon one another (see 1 Cor. 12:13-25). God has called, anointed and empowered every one of His holy people so we can learn from one another and grow into perfection in Christ Jesus. This will not happen unless we see our need for one another. I need you and you need me in Christ Jesus.
The proud do not acknowledge this. They think that they are always right and believe they know everything. Sadly, there are those in the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ who are of this mindset. But, this kind of attitude is wrong. Pride is evil. We need God, and we need one another. If we want to live a passionate life for Christ we must accept this truth and eradicate pride from our lives.
Adapted from Humility and the Honor of God by Sheldon Newton, copyright 2008, published by Creation House. In this book the author breathes new life into the topic of humility and helps you identify complacency, pride and even a false sense of humility so that you can live a transparent and passionate life for Christ.
For the month of August we are celebrating the 40th anniversary of Charisma. Join us for giveaways each weekday, pages from our past, and more. We're including an anniversary special where you can get 40 issues of Charisma for only $40!