Dealing with Pride

One area where I see God working in the lives of other men (and in mine) is in the area of humility and repentance.  So many guys have an issue with Pride.

A sense of “I can take care of myself” permeates our culture.  Many men (Christian men) struggle with wanting to help themselves have a happy life, and in order to find it, instead of waiting on God to give them what they need, they go and try to find something to make them temporarily happy through over-working, over-eating, over-drinking, or you name the new drug of choice.  It’s a search for happiness and well-being they are looking for.  A search for Life.

I’ve gone off and searched for life myself through false comforters, and I’ve always ended up an empty guy after over-indulging in this or that thing in my quest for happiness.  Or, I’ve found myself needing to keep feeding my search until I’m addicted.  Before long, I no longer know what being free in Christ is.

As we were talking the other day with a group of guys that I hang out with on Thursday mornings, nearly each of us (there were 12 of us) had something in our lives that we’re currently struggling with or at the very least we could relate to another brother who was struggling.  It was good to get some things off our chest.  They had thought they struggled alone.

A verse came to me that I had just read earlier from Matthew 11:12.  Jesus is talking about John the Baptist, and men advancing the Kingdom of God.  Jesus says, “From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.”     John the Baptist was a wild man, to be sure—he lived on locusts and honey and wore clothes made of camel hair.  (Matt 3:4).  But he was more than just a “wild man.”

In Luke 3:3, it says that John the Baptist went into all the country around the Jordan “preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.”     And in Mark chp 1:6, John the Baptist says “After me will come one more powerful than I, the thongs of whose sandals I am unworthy to untie.”  (emphasis added).

I find it interesting that Jesus says that “from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing,” and that he apparently thinks this is good.  And yet, so many guys struggle with pride…what’s the deal??

Here’s what came to me.

John the Baptist came preaching a baptism of repentance.

Repentance is humbling oneself before God.

Pride is what got Satan kicked out of Heaven.

Humility is a major antidote to Satan’s schemes that he uses in the stronghold of pride.

Jesus himself says in Luke 9:23 that if anyone would come after him, “he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”  In other words, we need to humble ourselves daily.  Lay our pride down daily.  Choose to deny ourselves (our flesh…the devil…the world) and follow Christ.  And trust that when Jesus says that he came to give “Life, and life to the full.”  (John 10:10)…that he meant it.  He gives the life.  In Christ.  Not in anything else can we really find the life that we are looking for.

As believers in Jesus, he resides in our hearts.  And because he resides there, we have within us the spirit of humility, because Christ was the most humble man who ever walked the face of this earth.

When we are looking for Life, the abundant Life…we need to humble ourselves, lay down our pride and trust that God will give us what we need and what we are looking for.

I don’t think this is just a message for men.  Women struggle with pride, but sometimes it looks different (that will have to be for another post…maybe by my wife).

Humility is the key that unlocks our hearts, and opens us up to all the goodness and treasure that lie within.

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