Fighting Pride with Agape’s Power

The best way to humility is to hate our pride

I got this from somewhere.  Until we see pride the way God does and hate it the way He does, we will not do the hard work humility requires.

The fact of the matter is that God hates our pride.  James 4:6, God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.  Proverbs 6:17 says haughty eyes is one of 7 things God hates.

Self doesn’t hate pride; self revels in it.  This is why the battle is so hard and why pride is the core of all sins.  If we are ever going to suppress pride, we have to hate it like God does.

I want you to leave here today with a real bad attitude about your pride.

Strive for self-forgetfulness

Love doesn’t mean we don’t think about ourselves.  Love your neighbor as yourself acknowledges a certain self-care and self-awareness.  The humble person is the person in the room who isn’t caring that much if they get the attention, applause, gifts, kudos, status indicators, deference, focus, or anything else.  They are self-giving for the good and joy of the others.  They are happiest in the happiness of others.  That is self-forgetfulness.

Strive for self-forgetfulness.  To end the day having not worried too much about you.

Confess pride to God and others in specifics

Since we all have pride, it is a safe confession to make.  Forgive me for my pride.  Pride doesn’t want to get specific.  It loves generalities.  Fight that.  Be specific.  When you hear self-glory in your words or when you catch a whiff of attitude or when you embellish to make yourself look good, confess it right away to God specifically.  If necessary, do the same to others.  When I said that, it was pride.  When I treated you that way, it was pride on display.  Please forgive me.  Now, all sin is a form of pride, so don’t be legalistic about this.

But there are times for this.  I recently went to some people in our church and confessed to them that pride had blinded me to the damage I was doing in the way I related to them.  Some of the things coming up in 1 Cor. 13, like “insisting on its own way.”  Failures to listen as I should, exercising authority in unhelpful ways.  It’s easy to say, I was proud.  Yeah.  We all are.  When we get specific, our pride resists it.  Whatever our pride resists is probably the very thing we should do.

Wash others feet and don’t point out that you did to God or others

Pride wants attention for its humble actions.  Look what I did.  Look how amazingly humble I am.  Look how selfless I am.  Look at me!  I like me!  I am washing feet!

Think deeply about Redemption and my personal responsibility in it

Every time we look at the cross, Christ seems to be saying to us, I am here because of you.  It is your sin I am bearing, your curse I am suffering, your debt I am paying, your death I am dying.  Nothing in history or in the universe cuts us down to size like the cross.  All of us have inflated views of ourselves, especially in self-righteousness, until we have visited a place called Calvary.  It is there, at the foot of the cross, that we shrink to our true size.  –Stott

Friends, think deeply and often about the cross, what it means, think about my contribution to the guilt Jesus bore.  Think about the holiness of God.  Think about Christ’s glory and humility.  When we are there in our heart and mind, we shrink to true size and now we are free to love with reckless abandon like He did.

Love is patient, kind, does not envy, is not proud.

Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

© 2010 Steve DeWitt. You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that: (1) you credit the author, (2) any modifications are clearly marked, (3) you do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, (4) you include Bethel’s web site address (http://www.bethelweb.org/) on the copied resource.

To hear the message of this excerpt in its entirety, click here

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1 comment

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  1. ruth

    thinking and praying about pride as of late.
    wondered what you’re basing this statement on, in regards to not wanting God to notice our self sacrifice/service… “Wash others feet and don’t point out that you did to God or others”.
    thanks much!

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