There are times when God sometimes ignore us. And we only have ourselves to blame.
1 John 5 reminds us of:
The confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.
Notice here that God only hears us “if we ask anything according to his will”. Often, we let our pride get in the way of our relationship with God.
Throughout Scripture, pride reveals itself in two ways.
- Arrogance (Old Testament). People like the Pharaoh see themselves as a god. They see others as inferior.
- Self-righteousness (New Testament). People like the Pharisees who opposed Jesus have a misguided sense of their own goodness. They are certain of their moral superiority.
When pride rules our hearts, we do damage to our relationship with God.
What Would God Do?
Of course those filled with pride never impress or intimidate God. God says in Isaiah 40:25, “To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?”
Put yourself in God’s shoes and you would know why he ignores or condemns the prideful. If someone behaved like that to you, it might take a lot of strength to bite your tongue.
Pride makes you stubborn. You refuse guidance and help even if you needed it. Your world rests on your shoulders rather than God’s.
Pride is the shield you put between yourself and God. You push God to the side. And in the end, you become a rudderless boat.
Putting Pride In Its Place
When it comes to taming our pride, we can take lessons from the apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 9:16-23):
- The Gospel is a right not a privilege. The blessings you receive are never earned. God was the one who gave you your smarts, strengths and abilities. Not you. Take pleasure in what you can do, but always give God his proper due.
- Boast about Christ and not yourself. Saul (now Paul) is the perfect example of a man proud of his faith. His downfall was in letting his spiritual pride take him down dark paths. Being proud to be a Christian is great. Our piety, morals and value are important to us. But rather than boast about our Christianity, let’s boast about Christ himself instead.
Together these principles remove any reason to puff yourself up. And we help prepare you to become a partner with the gospel.
Let us be like the reformed Paul: “What reward do I get? That when I preach, I offer the good news free of charge. That’s why I don’t use the rights to which I’m entitled through the gospel” (1 Corinthians 9:18)