Ah, the great sin of inflated ego, of pride and smugness. Our society is ripe with the fruit of high self confidence and pride. One need only look to our celebrities to see what we value in society. “I’m the best at…” fill in the blank. Whether it be for looks, for what we own, our paychecks, natural skills and abilities, our society is overdosing on ego. It’s not just society at large however, this poison has crept into the church as well.
How can this be, we must ask? In light of a correct understanding of redemption how can we have arrogant pride as believers? As Lucifer rebelled by bowing to his own beauty and, and greatness, so we too are prone to stumble. God gives us as believers gifts and abilities according to His purpose and His glory.
“I’m a great public speaker.” “I’m a great writer.” “I’m a great musician. ” stop, hold up! We must be aware that the same ego that prompted the light-bearer, Lucifer to rebel against God is in the world. As he himself became obsessed with self, we too must guard against this infectious sin.
How do we do so, you may ask? We look to the One who alone stands worthy of praise, who alone deserves honor, boasting and glory. Nothing we possess as believers, as humans in general, is of our making. How can the earthen vessel boast in itself for being created by a master potter? Likewise how can the creation boast above and against the Creator?
Shall we be prideful for goodness? After all we do righteous acts, while many many deny the Lord’s will. As the Pharisee in Luke 18:11 prayed, “‘God, I thank you that I’m not like other people—greedy, unrighteous, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.'” We’re “good stuff,” right?!
Or perhaps we can be proud that we believe the gospel and are saved? While the world foolishly rejects the truth of the message of Christ Jesus, we wholeheartedly believe and are redeemed.
I am so sorry to report that no, we cannot have pride in our righteous acts, nor our faith in Christ. Now this may step on some “Arminian toes” lol, but nonetheless, Scripture makes it quite clear. You see, salvation and even sanctification are the work of the Lord, friend. “For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift–not from works, so that no one can boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do”(Ephesians 2:8-10)…
…cont’d “Where then, is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By one of works? No, on the contrary, by a law of faith. For we conclude that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law” (Roman 3:27-28).
My point is this: be on guard against the levon of pride, ego, and self-flattery. Boast in the Lord: rejoice in His goodness, His grace, mercy, and unmerited favor towards sinners.
May we rightly join with the, Apostle Paul in proclaiming, “But as for me, I will never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. The world has been crucified to me through the cross, and I to the world” (Galatians 6:14).
Dear, Heavenly Father, may we not take pride in ourselves but always look to you, giving all glory to you, to whom it rightly belongs. Forgive us for our pride and arrogance. May we rejoice in You, giving thanks for your gifts given to us, for your unmerited grace and favor. We praise and thank you in, Christ’s holy name. Amen.