August 10, 2005

Love Is Not Proud (1)

1 Cor. 13:4e; Daniel 4:28-37

"The Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes."

—  Daniel 4:32

There's a fundamental sin that clings powerfully to the human heart. We dislike it when we see it in others, but we often have a difficult time seeing it in ourselves. I'm talking about the sin of pride.

Now, there's a sense in which we can be proud without being sinful. If a student is proud of herself for working hard and earning an A on her final exam in Economics, that can be a good kind of pride. But if she starts thinking she is better than other students in the class who earned a lesser grade, she is giving in to sinful pride.

Sinful human pride involves having much too high an opinion of oneself, being puffed up with self-importance, looking down on others. King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had a highly exaggerated opinion of his worth and power. Blinded by the sin of pride, he set himself up as his own god and refused to acknowledge the one true, living God as the source of his power and his accomplishments.

But the Lord worked through a series of drastic measures to humble this proud king. After a long period of misery the king repented of his sinful pride and praised God. And the Lord God, who is merciful, restored the king's sanity, honor, and splendor.

Humble yourself before God, and thank him for the way he has blessed you and others.

Father, help me to see and confess the sin of pride in me. By your Spirit, slay this sin in me, and fill me with your love. I ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.

About the author — Richard E. Williams

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