Stop Looking at Your Ugly Self (and thinking you’re all pretty)

4 Feb

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“Do not keep talking so proudly or let your mouth speak such arrogance, for the Lord is a God who knows, and by him deeds are weighed.

(1 Samuel 2:3 NIV)

Pride is ugly. It is also rampant. Watch a few minutes of reality TV, from Survivor to The Apprentice, to Top Chef. The repugnance of contestants beating their chests (sometimes literally, sometimes figuratively), bragging about their superiority and why they’re going to beat all the others is out of control.

 

These extreme examples of dramatic displays of pride can deceive us into false humility: “I would never behave like that!” But we do, in more subtle but equally repulsive ways. We judge, we boast, we talk about our rights and what we deserve.

There are two considerations from the New Testament that remind us how to address this tendency toward pride:

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard (consider) one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. (Philippians 2:3, 4 NASB)

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, (Hebrews 10:24 NIV)

The point in both of these passages is to turn our gaze from the mirror and look at those around us. We are called to consider their strengths and contributions and encourage them toward the success (and to the glory) of the Church and its Lord.

 

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