Mirror, mirror on the Wall

mirror    There’s a Bible verse in a prominent place above my desk so that not a single time of sitting down, I don’t see and read it.  “Humble yourself (Sharon) under God’s mighty hand that He may lift you up in due time.  Cast all your cares on Him because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:6,7)  The obvious reason for its location is the constant need for me to remember the danger of pride.  No one likes to spend time with someone consumed with their own importance.  Have you conversed with friends who often interrupt you just to insert their own advice, experience, or bragging rights?  I don’t want to be that person.  How about you?

This danger not only involves your attitude regarding yourself, but stretches to your opinion of family members and friends.  Pride swells within me when someone asks about my children or grandchildren!  My mouth gushes with praise of their accomplishments and personally speaking, we should be able to share those feelings, but at the same time restraint should act as the reins to pull back our enthusiasm.   Paul advised us to remember, “I can do ALL THINGS through Christ who gives me strength.” (Phil. 4:13)  We (nor our loved ones) can do anything without God granting us breath, ability, and strength.

Our Bible has SO MUCH to say about the dangers of pride.  My favorite admonition against being prideful comes from Proverbs 16 where pride shows itself just before destruction, right before a great fall.  And to be humble with those who humble themselves is much better than to split the profit with others who are full of pride in their accomplishments.  (Prov 16:18,19) What a picture of the attitude of criminals leading other gang members!  Their initiation often involves crime and cruelty while the leaders brag of their superior evil deeds.

John advised that we not get attached to the world’s view, those things popular today.  “Do not love the world or the things in the world.  If anyone loves the world (like that) the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life is not of the Father but is of this world.  The world is passing away with its lust but he who does the will of God abides forever.” (1 John 2:15-17)

     So, brag on your family!  Share positive praise of others, but remember the danger of pride and the advantages of staying humble.  God wants us to influence our world for kingdom purposes, but not by becoming prideful or arrogant.  He will use those who humble themselves in the effort to lift up others.   If you need the praise of someone else, let the Lord take care of that.  If concerned that you are not getting the credit deserved, put yourself in the mighty hand of God and He will lift you up at the perfect time!  “Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth, a stranger and not your own lips.” (Prov. 27:2)

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