Who Do You Glorify?
“Whatever is good and perfect comes to us from God above, who created all heaven’s lights.” James 1:17a (NLT)
Someone once asked me if I was proud of my accomplishments. I’d just released a book and was getting some positive feedback. Plus, a friend of mine and I had just set an Idaho state record for the number or lakes fished in a sixteen-hour period, catching and releasing at least one fish at each lake. We were able to fish sixteen lakes and catch nineteen fish for the day. What fun we had! Sure, it felt good, but “proud”?
Several verses about pride raced through my mind, reminding me that whatever my perceived successes—I owed it all to God. Moses instructed the Israelites before they entered the Promised Land: “You may say in your heart, ‘My power and the strength of my hand made me this wealth.’ But you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth.” Deut.8:17-18a.
I know that everything I have or have accomplished is because of God’s grace and strength in my life. Satan may tempt us to be prideful and haughty in spirit because of our abilities or success, but we must remember that every good thing we have is from God.
I believe God wants us to have a “healthy pride” in whatever we do but not be prideful. He wishes to have us do our very best—to work in our jobs, develop relationships, and encourage our families as if we were serving Him: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” Col. 3:23. Healthy pride is satisfaction in a job well done, not gloating over how good we are or how much better we are than others.
God’s Word speaks against a prideful spirit and a heart that testifies to vanity, conceit, egoism, narcissism, self-love, and self-glorification.
When we’re excited, thinking, “Wow! Look at what God has done…in my life, with my hands, with His love, and strength running through me…and by His mercy,” it is a healthy pride that glorifies God. If we’re gloating and thinking, or proclaiming, “Wow! Look what I was able to do…look at me…look how great I am…how much better I am than anyone else,” our arrogance can disgrace and embarrass our Heavenly Father, friends, and family. The Apostle Paul warns against glorifying ourselves: “As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil.” James 4:16.
The most damaging pride is an external “spirituality” without an internal holiness—a sort of Pharisee-Syndrome. Jesus reserved His greatest condemnations for those who had such pride: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. Even so you outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” Matt. 23:27-28.
Let’s examine our hearts to make sure our pride is in God not in our position, power, intelligence or spirituality. May our lives and our lips glorify Him!
The Power of Truth:
“But, ‘Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.’” 2 Cor. 10:17
“What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?” 1 Cor. 4:7b
Suggestion for Prayer:
Think of all the things you feel good about in your life…and give God the credit. Tell Him He’s amazing! Thank Him for what He is doing through you and around you. Let the blessings in your life fill you with gratitude.