Loving God and hating sin is –by God’s empowering grace- a cultivating practice of repentance. Why? Because, throughout the rest of my time on this side of eternity, I will sin. I will enjoy sin. I will be tempted by sin. I will be deceived by sin. I will be convicted of sin. I will be accused of sin. I will grieve over my sin. I will be the living embodiment of Romans 7:19 “ For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep doing” My natural propensity will be to center my life on me. and to forget about God, His goodness and the gospel’s affect in my life.
That, my friends is pride.
With that pride, I will need to repent of it. And so will you.
Pride is the deepest root of all sinful actions, thoughts, words and motives. And it is because of pride that every one of us is wrecked. A simple inventory of our struggles and insecurity, will reveal the deeper problem of pride on every level. Namely, it’s about me. The Big “I” in pride. It will be about my appearance and accomplishments. It’s about my motivations and declarations. It’s about my being right and rules. It’s about my good works and little quirks.
So to cultivate a repentant heart toward the sin of pride and to cultivate a hatred for it, it will involve a hatred of myself, my ways and my life. The Bible puts it this way: Put to death what is earthly in you, do not live according to the flesh and don’t present your life and freedom in Christ to indulge in sin, but present your life to God (See Col. 3:5, Rom. 8:12,13, Rom 6:12,13) Jesus said clearly: If anyone follow me let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. Whoever would want their life to be saved from the coming wrath and judgment of their selfish sin, will have to lose their lifestyle of living for themselves (see Mark 8:34,35).
How has pride ruined our lives? And how can we cultivate a love for God through this? I’m not sure about you, but here are just some of the reason I hate pride (and that I need to remember).
I hate pride because I falsely think it’s all about me.
I hate pride because I’m never satisfied.
I hate pride because of the wall it places between myself and others.
I hate pride because it stops me from experiencing God’s forgiveness and freedom.
I hate pride because I think I’m deserving of sinful things AND forgiveness afterward. It cheapens God’s grace.
I hate pride because it makes me a fool when I don’t listen.
I hate pride because when my heart is full of it, my cross I need to bear is too heavy and get a sinful
I hate pride because of the additional sin and troubles it brings into my life.
I hate pride because failure is harder to handle.
I hate pride because it fills me with ingratitude and no thanksgiving.
I hate pride because it affects the happiness of marriages.
I hate pride because it closes off an otherwise generous individual, from the needy.
I hate pride because it always comes up before a fall.
I hate pride because it will steal the glory of God
I hate pride because it will steer my heart to trust in myself and thereby cause my heart to develop an idolatrous worship of myself.
But I love Jesus, because he is the model of humility. When I focus on that- that humbles my pride.
I love Jesus, because when all I am only thinking of myself, I remember he was thinking about me (one that he chose and loved) when he went to the cross.
I love Jesus because He emptied himself by taking the form of a servant.
I love Jesus because he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
I love Jesus because as I remember the truths of the gospel, it will keep me humble.
I love Jesus, because as I serve others, he’ll keep me humble and yet motivated for the right reasons.
I love Jesus. Because when I humble myself, he will lift me up.
May the following part of this prayer found in the book, Valley of Vision be a part of your prayer life.
“O Fountain of All Good,
Destroy in me every lofty thought,
Break pride to pieces and scatter it to the winds,
Annihilate each clinging shred self-righteousness,
Implant in me true lowliness of spirit,
Abase me to self-loathing and self-abhorrence,
Open in me a fount of penitential tears,
Break me, then bind me up”