Defeating Pride

October 10, 2011

Pride is a monster that can hide in every corner of our lives. It is easy to take pride in our accomplishments; but more insidiously, we take pride in our failures through self-pity or inventing other measures of success. It is also easy to take pride in our moral behavior.  Conversely, we also take pride in our open-mindedness and our tolerance of those different from us, and claim that we are therefore better than those intolerant moral conformists.  No matter what we turn to, we are tempted to claim that we are better than others, that we deserve praise, that our good work or character should be acknowledged, that our faults are to be minimized and that our mistakes are justified by our past experiences.

Why do we do this?  We are struggling to exist; we want to remember ourselves because we are afraid being forgotten. Oh, how sweet is the doctrine of election! For we are chosen, not because of anything that we have done (because then we could just as well lose our salvation based on the whims of our fallen hearts), but through the finished work of Christ! We are remembered. “My name is written on his hands.”

Where then is room for pride, for self-pity? All self-aggrandizement is unnecessary, and incompatible with this grace. We cannot add anything to Omniscient God’s perfect recall. He will not forget you. He will not forget the work He has done. This gospel reaches into every corner of your being.

How then shall we face success? We shall praise God but we will not let them define us. For it matters not that people know us; they will soon forget. But rather we will seek to know God, even as we are known. How then shall we face failures? We will embrace them if through them we can taste the sweetness of the Gospel!

Pride is defeated, not by anything we do, not by us turning to different parts of ourselves, but by grace; we boast not in anything we do, but in what is given us. We boast not in anything that we do, but only in the cross.

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