“Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, but let the one who boasts boast about this: ‘that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,’ declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 9:23-25 NIV
In one of the most popular Christian books ever written, Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis stated, “As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on things and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.” Lewis called pride the “great sin”, and I couldn’t agree more. Of course, all sins are grievous acts against God, but I would argue like Lewis that pride leads to every other depravity. This anti-God state of mind is so destructive in our lives as believers.
When I learned about Reformed theology, I was so overwhelmed with the biblical truths the doctrines supplied. I loved how Gospel-saturated it was. Diving head first into this “new” faith, I read countless books by different theologians, and when the Scriptures confirmed the truth about this theology, there was no going back for me. I had so much knowledge I didn’t know what to do with, so I started getting puffed up in a sort of religious way.
My dear Christians, we must kill pride before it kills us. This vice seeps into our hearts, and its grip can lead us to live for praise instead of living for Christ. Since we know theology matters, and Biblical theology is all about the Gospel, we must remember apart from Christ we can do nothing (John 15:5). This also applies to any area of our lives in which we allow pride to live and thrive. We must not boast in worldly things but in Christ. Pride allows us to forget we are totally dependent upon Christ for everything in this life, and when we look to the Gospel for deliverance, we find Jesus and power to combat this evil.
Father, I confess to You the sin of pride which has taken up residence inside my heart. Forgive me for forsaking You and boasting in myself. Thank You for Jesus and the Gospel and for the hope the Scriptures provide me. Help me to love and long for You instead of seeking praise from others. Lord, please give me a servant’s heart, lead me in humility, and help me delight in You. Amen.
Are you boasting in anything other than Christ? Are there areas in your life where you value yourself over others? Look to our immeasurably superior God who has so graciously given us everything in this life and be humbled. Meditate on Jeremiah 9:23-25, Proverbs 21:4, and Philippians 2:3, embracing the truth of the Gospel while forsaking your worldliness.