7 Minute Read

Be Still

To the best of your ability, get rid of all distractions. Take a couple of minutes to breathe deeply, to quiet yourself in the Lord’s presence. Then, prayerfully ask the Lord to speak to you in this time and let Him know that you will be listening and will make whatever adjustments He will reveal to you.

Today’s Bible Reading:

Nehemiah 1:1–3:14
1 Corinthians 7:1-24
Psalm 31:19-24
Proverbs 21:4

Listen to the Lord

Slowly and reflectively read the following verses and listen to what God will say to you through them. Then, consider writing down any insights He reveals to you.

Proverbs 21:4 (NLT): “Haughty eyes, a proud heart, and evil actions are all sin.”

Reflections from Scripture:

If there is one sin that is the root of all other evils, it is pride. 

Pride is the notion that we are at the center of our world, and everything operates out of that paradigm. When we make decisions, they are ultimately focused on self-interests. When we assess our work, we assume it is better than anyone else’s. Our words are primarily about ourselves when we talk because we are convinced that we are the most important thing to be discussed. In fact, pride is the reason we see as we determine to make up our own rules and not submit to God.

But, have you ever noticed that we aren’t really bothered when we have a pride problem? Yet, when someone else has a pride problem, it is utterly appalling to us?

Yet, pride is more than just distasteful. It will wreck relationships, families, churches, and communities. If we are to get along with each other and enjoy relationships, pride must go.

So, while we may struggle with pride, simply reflecting on what pride causes will lead us to the clear conclusion that it is a cancer that will destroy us and what is precious to us.

That is where Proverbs 21:4 comes in. When God calls something “sin,” He’s not just making up arbitrary rules. He knows how we operate. He knows what is best for us, those around us, and His glory. And whatever would bring harm to His glory or His precious creation is called “sin.”

Proverbs 21:4 (NLT): “Haughty eyes, a proud heart, and evil actions are all sin.”

Give the Holy Spirit permission to search your heart today (Psalm 139:23-24). Consider asking a close friend to be honest with you. Look to see if pride has taken root in your heart.

When (not if) you find pride in your heart, ask God to help you eradicate it. And then look for God to send circumstances your way that will work to humble you. Of course, it won’t be pleasant, just like some medicine isn’t pleasant. But, it will work for your long-term good on your journey to become more like Jesus.

Spend Time in Prayer

Lord Jesus, when I look at You, I see how You humbled Yourself and left Heaven to make a way for me to be saved from my guilt and Your wrath. Yet, when I honestly look at myself, I often don’t see humility. Instead, I see insecurity and pride. Help me, Lord Jesus, to become more like You, being humbled in Your presence and finding it easier to submit in love to others. I cannot do this on my own. I need You to do this work through me. Thank You in advance for doing this work in me. I pray this in Your Name, Amen.

Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash