Pride and Humility

This past weekend, Albert Tate continued The Monsters Within with a message called “Pride & Humility.” Pride is a dangerous sin as it stems from us taking credit for God’s work. What are human beings most prideful of? How much money we have, our talents, our jobs, and our families, but when we look at the source of everything good in our lives, it all comes from God. James 1:17 tells us, “every good and perfect gift is from above.” If that’s the truth, how come so many of us walk around with an air of arrogance, pride, and conceit?


To one degree or another, many of us think, “I have a nice house, car, and retirement plan; I’m pretty great at my job,” or “I’m a stellar athlete, but I earned everything I have,” or “My spouse and kids are fantastic. I must be an awesome partner and parent.” When we pick our “accomplishments” apart, though, they ultimately stem from something God’s given us and not something we earned, deserved, or brought to fruition. 


If we’re excelling in our jobs, although we might be skilled, who blessed us with those skills? If we’re dominating in a sport, although we’re putting in the hours of hard work, where did that talent come from? If our spouses and kids are phenomenal, who brought our spouses into our lives, and who gave us with the children we have? When we put a magnifying glass over the successes in our lives, our part becomes smaller, but God’s becomes greater. 


No matter where we’re excelling, we need to remember to be humble because we cannot put in what God left out. We each have raw talents that can’t be taught: how to write like that, sing like that, serve like that, etc. We’ve been blessed by God above. Without God and what He’s given us, we’re empty shells. 


Let’s think of it this way (Millennials, you might like this example): In the movie Space Jam from 1996, starring Michael Jordan, cartoon aliens are challenged to a basketball game by the Looney Tunes (stay with me here). The aliens are tiny and gross and lack the talent to beat anyone in a basketball game. However, they come up with a plan to steal talent from other NBA players, and one of those players was Charles Barkley. When the aliens steal Barkley’s talent, he can barely run up and down the court. He becomes an average basketball player. He joins a street game of basketball with neighborhood kids and he can’t make a basket, dribble the ball, or keep up with the pace. 


It’s a silly example, but maybe that’s how we should view our gifts, talents, and abilities. Without God, His blessings, and the doors He’s opened, we’re all just average. There's no room for pride when we start viewing our lives through that lens; it gets shoved out by humility and praise to God.


Our earlier statements transform to: “I have a nice house, car, and retirement plan; I’m so blessed God opened the doors He did and provided me with so many amazing opportunities.” “I’m a stellar athlete, but I’m nothing without God. To Him be all the glory. He made me the way I am, and I’m so thankful.” “My spouse and kids are fantastic. I’m so undeserving. God is good, each and every day.”


Let’s not take credit for God’s successes; let’s instead praise Him for the countless blessings He pours down on us. When we keep our eyes on Him, pride shrivels, and humility and praise prevail. It’s through God we can do all things. 


Click here to read and learn more about involving God in the conversation, letting Him take the wheel when we feel we lack the talent, resources, and determination.
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