The Pride Fight

It can creep up on you without notice.

And yet sometimes it smacks you right in the face.

It can convince you that everyone feels this way.

And it can tempt you to think in your case, it is o.k.

It can seem like a pebble, barely worth paying attention to.

Then it can become a boulder that brings you down.


It is such a sneaky sin. Just when you think you have a handle at staying humble, the reality of your self-concern is brought to the forefront, making you understand that even in thinking that you have a grasp on humility, you are really just exercising the same haughty muscle in a new way.

Whether its the fact that your inner self objects when someone else receives a compliment you don’t think they’ve quite earned, or your quick to add your own child’s accomplishments to the one-up-manship game, the tendency to be self-concerned can not be ignored. And as justifiable as we might think it is, God makes it clear –  Pride is antithetical to a relationship with Him (Ja. 4:6). If we are so busy thinking about our desires, skills, and plans, we certainly do not have our focus on Him.

And that’s the real problem with pride. It takes my eyes off of the Savior, and puts them on the sinner. It shifts my attention from things that are eternal to what is temporal. It prevents me from looking heavenward, because I am too busy looking at myself.

Which is why I must fight it. Every day.  Although my victory may be incomplete this side of Heaven, the fight must wage on. Sure, over time, my punches may land a little more squarely in its face. I may learn how to bob and weave more deftly to avoid its attacks. But it will always seek to gain the upper hand. I want my hands, however, to be lifted in daily surrender to my Lord. So I fight. I fight to think of myself less, and to think of Him more.


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Study to Obey


In many parts of Christendom, serious study of God’s Word has been given a renewed focus. It is commonplace to read articles deriding the “Christianity lite” that was popularized in many youth groups and that began infiltrating the American church at large.  Studious ingestion of Scripture, and the commentaries that explain it, has become the “cool thing” to do. Careful exegesis of passages, contextual understanding and deliberate meditation on Scripture have gained in popularity.   People recognize that serious understanding of God’s Word requires serious study of it.

This is a good thing. Scripture makes it clear that studying and dwelling on God’s Word is commendable. However, the Bible also makes it clear that there is a reason for it. We shouldn’t study Scripture merely as a means of increasing our knowledge or in delighting in our own understanding. Our pretense for acquisition of biblical knowledge isn’t so that we can glory in our own obtainment of it. Instead, as Joshua 1:8 indicates, the reason we are to study Scripture is so that we may increasingly obey it. Studying God’s Word should effect our heads, and our hearts. Our lives should increasingly conform to the pattern that Scripture articulates. If not, if we are studying merely as a means to win debates or to make erudite points in discussions, if in other words,  our study is mostly about us, and not about God, than we have missed entirely the point of Scripture to begin with. After all, God’s Word is mostly (and rightly) about Him. We should study in to know Him more, and as a result, our lives should increasingly look as He desires.

Our study of Scripture should increasingly lead to more obedient lives. And as it does, our lives should increasingly bring glory to the One in Whom Scripture delights.

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