SITUATION The prophets knew that God reigned over all the world. When these seven Nations failed to acknowledge God as their king they were punished.
OBSERVATION We are never beyond the reach of God's judgment God condemns pride. One is the opposite of humility; it is very bad. The other is the opposite of shame, it is very good.
The kind of pride that is the opposite of humility leaves God and other circumstances our of our successes. It claims that whatever we have achieved, we have achieved by our own virtue.
The essence of this kind of pride is self-centeredness and selfishness and it is condemned by Scripture. This does not mean, however, that the Bible is opposed to the self. The self is one of God's good creations; selfishness is worshiping the creation rather than the creator.
Bad pride is the kind of selfishness that always wants to be center stage, that takes all the credit, that leaves God out, that gives, no thanks to other people, that goes it alone. It is the opposite of what God desires for us.
By contrast, the kind of pride that is the opposite of shame has to do with a job well done, with excellence, with striving for the best with rising above mediocrity. In a Christian, this kind of pride attempts to give of its best to the Master.
People who misunderstand the difference between the two kinds of pride may have a misimpression of the Christian faith. Christianity is not opposed to excellence. It is not opposed to putting forth your best effort, excelling and achieving. No, it is only opposed to a person's thinking he can excel without God's help.
Selfish pride is the opposite of thankfulness and gratitude. It show no gratitude to God for a healthy body, a healthy mind, good parents, a good national heritage, a good diet, and a thousand other blessings over which the person has no control. A person filled with selfish pride thinks he has created himself through his own efforts . . .
The other kind of pride the kind that is the opposite to shame, doesn't crawl out between the mattress and say, "I'm a worm; step on me." It's doesn't finish playing a solo and say, "It was nothing," It is not unable to accept compliment.
The pride that is opposite to shame can say thank you and give credit where credit is due. It can thank God for his gifts and, at the same time, acknowledge good work when it is done. The person who can accept a compliment is not arrogant. He knows where his dexterous fingers come from, who gave him his mind and his sense of rhythm . . .
When Michelangelo walked away from the Sistine Chapel, he knew he had done a beautiful work, and he was proud of it. Yet when a person looks at the ceiling from that chapel, he is always draw toward God. He is inspired to worship God, not Michelangelo. The art is great but because it is aimed at glorifying the heavenly Father, the observer is moved to worship. (From Two Kinds of Pride by Jay Kesler in Practical Christianity)
APPLICATION Have you been successful? DO people praise your achievements? Give credit to God in thankful prayer for each gift he has given you.
EXPLORATION Pride -- Mark 9:34; Luke 18:11-14; 1 Peter 5:5-6.
The Devotional Bible - Experiencing the Heart of Jesus, Max Lucado General Editor, New Century Version, Thomas Nelson Publishers
Jesus is "Everything to me!"