The Secret to Battling Pride

Deut 8:17-18

You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.

God reminded the Israelites that when they entered the Promised Land and began sipping wines and living the good life, they were not to become proud. They were not to attribute any of their success and wealth to themselves. That’s the source of pride – When you think you did it all by your own two hands.

God’s message rings eerily true in our success-crazed society today. Bookshelfs are brimming with self-help gurus that claim ‘we can achieve anything we want’, ‘we are masters of our destiny’ or ‘we have all the ability within us to reach our dreams.’

Man has the tendency to elevate themselves as god and become master of their own universe, displacing the one true master, God. Just like the Israelites, do you become proud when God gives you money, houses and food to enjoy? Do you think that you deserved all that you have? That all you have attained is due to your excellent marketing savvy and intelligence in setting up a business?

This passage informs us that everything, I mean everything, was given by God’s grace. Nothing comes from you. All comes from the gracious hand of God because He loves us. It reminds me of a story of this man:

A man is walking along when suddenly he got his foot caught in some railroad tracks. He tried to get it out, but it was really stuck in there well. He heard a noise and turned around to see a train coming. He panicked and started to pray, “God, please get my foot out of these tracks and I’ll stop drinking!”
Nothing happened, it was still stuck, and the train was getting closer! He prayed again, “God, please get my foot out and I’ll stop drinking AND swearing!”
Still nothing…and the train was just seconds away! He tried it one last time, “God please, if you get my foot out of the tracks, I’ll quit drinking, swearing and smoking.” Suddenly his foot shot out of the tracks and he was able to dive out of the way, just as the train passed. He got up, dusted himself off, looked toward Heaven and said… “Thanks anyway God, I got it myself.”

Are you like this man who didn’t recognise the hand of God in his life? I’m convinced that ungodly pride in our churches will vanish, if we only realise that everything is from God and we have nothing to boast about but in God.

What can you thank God for today?

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