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January 16, 2022 | Doug Sauder
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“For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.”—Galatians 6:3 (NKJV)
Nothing will derail a person’s spiritual growth more than an attitude of self-righteous pride. The moment we think we are superior to anyone else, when we presume we are valued more than others; we do something to ourselves that all the combined forces of spiritual darkness could never do to us: We put ourselves in a position that God cannot and will not bless.
God has made it clear that He opposes the proud in Psalm 138:6 and Proverbs 3:34. Just in case we’re tempted to think, But that’s all Old Testament language, He repeats it twice for us in the New Testament (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5). And if there’s any trace of belief that we have a special “something” within us to boast about, Jesus settles the issue once and for all by declaring we can do “nothing” apart from Him (John 15:5).
If one thing is clear in this life, it’s this: Pride has no place among God’s people! And when or if we think otherwise, we are simply dwelling in a state of self-deception. Again, this attitude acts as a sort of spiritual prison, bringing an abrupt halt to our freedom to grow in God.
Now, if your heart works anything like mine, you might be thinking, Good thing I’m not guilty of pride like so many other people! Wait! Do you see what’s happening? Can you see how insidiously invasive pride can be? It’s lurking and ready to lunge at us from so many different directions. We can even be prideful about not being proud!
Yet as formidable a foe as pride is, we can’t dwell in the valley of defeat. We need to understand the Lord is greater than pride’s power, and He’s for us overcoming it. It’s a battle we can win; God wouldn’t command us to be victorious if it wasn’t possible!
So how do we win the war with pride? By having the proper perspective, by looking at the right things. If we focus on other people, and measure ourselves against them, we start to see ourselves as “something.” But as we focus on the sinless Son of God, who suffered and died on account of our guilt before God, we will see Him as “something” and ourselves as “nothing” in comparison.
Don’t get distracted. Keep your spiritual eyes fixed on Jesus, and you will see both Him and you as you should.
DIG: What sin are we being warned against in this passage?
DISCOVER: What happens when we entertain pride, and how do we overcome it? What can you do to maintain proper perspective about Jesus and yourself?
DO: Ask the Lord daily to give you the proper mindset, to bring you to a place of humility, and to remove prideful thoughts from your heart.
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.