What Do You Take Pride In?

In the era of social media, selfies, tweets, and posts, we are constantly provided ways to let other people know what we think of ourselves.  It seems as those modesty and candor have been tossed out to be replaced by self promotion.  Pride has taken over and we know what God thinks of a proud heart.  I have often had to catch myself, and reconsider a post.  

I hate mankind, for I think myself one of the best of them, and I know how bad I am.
— Samuel Johnson | English author, 17 century

This man was brutally honest with himself.  He knew how highly he regarded himself, yet he also realized how wicked he is inside.  It reminds me of the Apostle Paul in Romans Ch. 7

I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?
— Romans 7:21-24

That is humility.  If anyone in the body of Christ had cause to be proud, it was Paul the Apostle. In Philippians 3 we are given what is commonly called "Paul's sevenfold pedigree".  We take pride in our looks, our body, our possessions, our relationships, our achievments.  Let's look at what Paul had to take pride in.  

Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. For me to write the same things to you is not tedious, but for you it is safe. Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation! For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit,[a] rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh, though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
— Philippians 3:1-6

In the culture of the time, Paul had it all.  That is until he came face to face with the risen Lord on the road to Damascus.  Then and only then did he realize just how much he had fallen short.  He was made blind, so he could see.  See his sin, his pride, his arrogance, and his need for a savior.  On that day, in that moment, none of his "pedigree" mattered.  He finally realized what was important was not his efforts, but his faith.  His faith in the finished work of Jesus on the cross of Calvary.

What do you take pride in?

  • Your looks? Fleeting
  • Your youth? Fading
  • Your wealth? It can't buy salvation
  • Your achievements? Soon forgotten
  • Your family? In need of a savior as well
  • Your idols? They can't hear you
  • Dead saints?  They can't save you
  • Your possessions? It is all going to burn

Lord, help me to take pride in you.  To honor you in all I do and not get caught up in the world.  To be humble and contrite.  To stop looking in the mirror, and start looking to you.

Amen

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