Proud Living

Life is short, no doubt. To God a thousand years are as yesterday, but to us today is all we can be certain of (Psalm 90:4). The life we live right now, today, is the only guarantee we have of having the opportunity to decide whether we will live according to the lessons taught us in the sacred Bible. There is no certainty of tomorrow. I have said before and I will sarcastically say it again; none of us has a crystal ball whereby we can predict the future. There are no prophets living among us. We cannot undo the past and we cannot see where our choices will lead. It is imperative, therefore that we count today as if it were our last. Today is the day of salvation. Let us redeem it as we may. (Psalm 95:7-11; Hebrews 3:7).

The Israelites hardened their hearts over and over until Jesus told them they would meet their law and their capital city.

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! (38)  See, your house is left to you desolate. (39)  For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’” Matthew 23:37-39

Most people are proud people. Pride runs so deep that it stirs strife between the closest of family members. This self-centered mentality drove the politician Ahithophel to commit suicide (2 Samuel 17). Pride ruined good king Hezekiah (2 Chronicles 32). Israel was enslaved because of pride (Isaiah 28) and then the southern kingdom Judah the same (Jeremiah 13). The highly educated scribes were condemned by the Master Rabbi for their inflation of conceit (Mark 12:38-39). There is just nothing in the Bible that speaks well of pride. Length of days, are we promised it? Are we actually so naive as to think of the scores of people whose lives are cut short, that we might out last any of them?

Pride brings a person into depression not a healthy self esteem. We don’t need self esteem. We need Christ esteem. “One’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.”  (Proverbs 29:23) Surely we can see that insolence only breeds strife. Strife stirs quarrels and fighting. Fighting increases into war and there is no room in the body of Christ for feuds. In fighting, whether it is in a congregation, family or nation is not Christ like. In Jesus Christ there is peace. Outside of Christ, life is shortened because while worldly minded people claim there can be peace without Christianity they are actually selling out the best citizens any government can have (Romans 13).

I have said a mixture of things regarding pride and living life. Permit it all come the conclusion of two passages. First, read this one.

But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (7)  Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (8)  Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (9)  Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. (10)  Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. James 4:6-10

God resists the proud because pride glorifies me instead of him. Second, read this one.

Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. (3)  You return man to dust and say, “Return, O children of man!” (4)  For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night. (5)  You sweep them away as with a flood; they are like a dream, like grass that is renewed in the morning: (6)  in the morning it flourishes and is renewed; in the evening it fades and withers. (7)  For we are brought to an end by your anger; by your wrath we are dismayed. (8)  You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence. (9)  For all our days pass away under your wrath; we bring our years to an end like a sigh. (10)  The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away. (11)  Who considers the power of your anger, and your wrath according to the fear of you? (12)  So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:2-12

It is pride that says “I will live a long life ahead. There is no need to think about today.” That statement is the reason people weren’t ready for the flood (Genesis 6-7). Pride kept the Israelites wandering in the desert for forty years before their children would finally enter Canaan. Pride is destructive because it does not glorify the Creator and Sustainer of life. Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says,

“Today, if you hear his voice, (8)  do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness, (9)  where your fathers put me to the test and saw my works for forty years. (10)  Therefore I was provoked with that generation, and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart; they have not known my ways.’ (11)  As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest.’” (12)  Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. (13)  But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. (14)  For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. Hebrews 3:7-14

What will you do with your attitude today?

-Donny Weimar

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