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Pride: A Food for thought blog post

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Are you the type of person who likes to do everything themselves? Do you hate asking others for help? Would you be considered independent and a free spirit? If so, I’m sure you can relate to countless other people just like you … just like me.

Restrictions and boundaries … the kind that stop us from doing what we really want to do … are no fun. If it were moving day and there was nobody around to help lift the heavy boxes I’ll bet you would be tempted to do it all yourself … bad back and all … just because that restriction would be preventing you from doing what you really wanted to do … which is get the job done and over with.  However, there is a fine line between being independent and being foolish.  That’s where pride comes in.  If you know in your heart of hearts you really should listen to your body and you knowingly go beyond your limitations even further than absolutely necessary … you’re teetering on that fine line and about to fall into the trap of pride.

In Proverbs 16:18 (NIV) the Bible says, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”  It’s all too easy to disregard restrictions and boundaries when we, instead, choose to listen to that independent, free spirit attitude that keeps egging us on to keep going … no matter what the cost.  You would think some of us were in a race to win a gold medal at the Olympics the way we run around … ignoring our body’s signals to slow down. In this fast paced world it’s hard to intentionally “stop and smell the roses” from time to time … but, unfortunately, if we don’t make the time voluntarily, our body might just rebel and make it for us as evidenced through sickness or disease slowing us down whether we like it or not.

The problem is not with our bodies, the problem is with pride… not wanting to humble ourselves and accept the way our bodies were created. In fact, Psalm 139:13-14 (NIV) says, “For you (God) created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” So, the reality is that we are wonderfully made … that is the absolute truth we find in God’s Word.  The problem is that we oftentimes don’t like not being able to do what we want to do, when (and how) we want to do it.  Our human nature and our attitude would rather rebel … and get prideful.

In Genesis 1:26-28 (NIV) we see God’s original intent when He created us: “Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.  Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

So, here we see that we … all of us … were created in the image of God … and that he created us male and female … and his intention is for us to be fruitful and increase in number. A little further in Genesis 2:24 (NIV) …after the account of how woman was made… we read, “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.”

Like I mentioned previously, the problem is not with our bodies, the problem is with pride… not wanting to humble ourselves and accept the way our bodies were created… and our human nature and our attitude would rather rebel … and get prideful. We would rather try to make our bodies do things it was never created to do… we would rather allow ourselves to be deceived into thinking we’re missing out on something good rather than humble ourselves and tell ourselves no … we can’t do it … it’s not the way God created me … no matter how much I desire to be “that way”… God did not create me “that way” and it’s more important to honor God and honor my body by using it the way God originally intended it to be used… to be fruitful and multiply… not only in the sense of expanding the human race… but also in the sense of using my unique gifts, talents, and abilities as the male or female God created me to be … to honor Him and be a blessing to others.

Pride gets in the way of God’s best for us.  Perhaps that’s why James 4:6-10 (NLT) says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” So humble yourselves before God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Come close to God, and God will come close to you.  Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.  Let there be tears for what you have done.  Let there be sorrow and deep grief.  Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy.  Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.”

The bottom line about pride is this: We need to die to pride … we need to voluntarily tell ourselves no … before our bodies involuntarily make us say no. It doesn’t matter what the pride is about… pride from lifting boxes that are way too heavy for us, pride from not listening to our doctor’s advice about eating healthy and exercising to prevent us from getting diabetes or another life-changing disease, or pride from trying to make our bodies function as anything other than the male or female God originally created us to be when He created us in His image … that fearfully and wonderfully made creation that the Lord has promised to lift up in honor when we humble ourselves before Him.


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Competence (a Timeless Truths blog post)

“There’s no way I can do that!” “You’ve gotta be crazy if you think I can do that!” “I’m never going to be able to do that!” Have you or someone you know said these words when faced with a seemingly insurmountable task? Have you felt like, no matter how hard you tried, it just wasn’t good enough? Have you felt incompetent? Well, if you have, there’s good news. Our competence doesn’t have to come from ourselves. In fact, it shouldn’t. 2 Corinthians 3:5 (NIV) reads, “Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.” So, this timeless truth lets us know that our competence does, indeed, come from God. What a relief! God doesn’t expect us to do everything all on our own. He expects us to turn to Him in our weakness and receive strength. After all, God is our source of strength. We are not meant to do anything of lasting value apart from His enabling power at work within us. We are meant to depend upon Him. In a world of increasing independence, that may sound counter-intuitive, but, in reality, it is a safeguard for us. When we draw our power and our strength (and our competence) from God, there’s no way we can lose. As we continuously learn to live our lives this way, it won’t matter what the next seemingly insurmountable obstacle is in our path … we will be able to trust that, whatever it is, with God on our side giving us the enablement to persevere and do whatever it is He’s called or led us to do, we will be able to get through it. Since Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever, when we remember His faithfulness in helping us in the past, we can confidently trust that He will help us in the present with whatever we are facing today as well. It’s all the same concept. If we can trust Him for one thing, we can trust Him for everything. The situation and circumstances may be different, but God is the same – forever dependable, trustworthy, and true. He is who He says He is and He does what He says He will do. Isaiah 41:10 (NIV) says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” With a promise like that, how can you lose?

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