Cornerstone Devo | Spring 2022
Humbly Presenting the Best Devotional on Pride that you’ll ever read
Perhaps that’s an exaggeration, but we often cloud the definition of pride with behaviors like bragging. That’s not the sin of pride that concerns Scripture. Sinful pride traps us into wrongly thinking that God wouldn’t elevate those whom we disdain. We could sell books on why and how to defeat it. Short answer: we can’t, but here are a few case studies on how God whittles away our pride for His glory …
Pharaoh in Exodus 7-14
The ancient Egyptians’ elaborate system of deities was built around understanding nature. Red tide kills fish, tadpoles and frogs flourish, their carcasses draw no-see-ums and flies, etc. ... Pharaoh, an elite intellectual, would never believe in a god named “I Am.” God leveraged this man’s pride to release His people from bondage.
Naaman in II Kings 5
A Syrian general occupying Israel, Naaman’s one pride point: his homeland. God works on it while healing his leprosy. The cure: bathe in the Jordan river. Naaman sets aside his pride through the counsel of his servants. Result: he finds healing and becomes a “secret believer.”
Jonah in Jonah Chapter 3,4
After his fish-thwarted sail from Joppa, we find Jonah sulking as God accepts Nineveh’s penance. Jonah’s pride point: sound theology. Assyrians of Nineveh were brutes, displacing conquered tribes with inhabitants from previous conquests. They were clueless on worshiping the Lord God. (Forcing livestock to fast was absurd to a Hebrew.) God gives Jonah an object lesson. Result: we understand the breadth of God’s love.
Peter in Acts Chapter 10
Joppa, 800 years post-Jonah. Peter’s pride point: being devout. Throughout the months since his Master’s resurrection, he founded The Church while steering clear of all things gentile. But, for the gospel to reach Europe, a door needed to open to representatives of the army that carried out Christ’s crucifixion. Let’s not understate Peter’s choice. If he says no, most of you would only know Christianity as an obscure rite for those of us of Middle Eastern heritage. Therefore, God pulls out all the stops: the location reminds Peter of Jonah’s lesson, the vision repeated three times recalls when he thrice denied Jesus. Result: Peter opens the door to the first European Christian worship service.
Ponder how God might be working on your pride point. My sympathies if deadly plagues have crossed your threshold. If not, has God sent you someone to humbly guide you? Raised up an object lesson? Put Scripture on your heart? Provided vision that would open inroads for the Holy Spirit? I pray God will wear down your pride enough for you to accomplish the next big thing in Jesus’ name.
--Charlei George is a member of the Campus Ministry Team at Bellefield
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