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Sunday June 3 – Pride defined

God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. – James 4:6

Scripture reading: James 4

How would you define pride? Self-promotion, self-absorption, self-exaltation? When things are going well, pride takes the credit; I worked hard, I dieted well, I scored a hat-trick. When things are going poorly, pride plays the blame game; things are not fair, I deserve better. Pride wants to be the center of attention. There is even a false humility that craves sympathy – look at me, feel sorry for me, praise me, notice me.

C.S. Lewis once wrote, “Pride wants to keep away from everything that will make it feel small.” It’s true; our sinful pride makes us feel threatened by others, by their skills, accomplishments, jobs, children, appearance, car, etc. We compare ourselves to others and build our identity based on how we match up to those we consider to be above or below us. Someone else said that the proud person thinks a lot about herself and also a lot of herself.

Pride ultimately is the creature made in God’s image contending for glory with God Himself. Therefore, it cannot be anything but self-destructive. Jeremiah 9 offers this gracious instruction:

“Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows Me.”

Suggestions for prayer

“Gracious God, Help me to see myself in Thy sight, then pride must wither, decay, die, perish. Humble my heart before Thee, and replenish it with Thy choicest gifts.” – The Valley of Vision: Pride

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Mark Stewart serves the Burlington URC in Burlington, WA.

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