Summary: What Are Some of the Problems of Spiritual Pride – Rom. 11:20,21
What Are Some of the Problems of Spiritual Pride – Rom. 11:20,21
Of the seven deadly sins in Proverbs, pride leads the list. Paul also knew something about the dangers of spiritual pride since he had seen how pride tends to degenerate into a license to sin. Coming from a Pharisaical background, Paul had witnessed how spiritually proud people tend to become blind to their own shortcomings. Paul had succumbed to pride as a Pharisee and been guilty of murder because his perceptions were distorted. In this passage Paul warns his readers not to become spiritually arrogant or risk facing the wrath of God. Spiritually proud people often fail to realize that they are so concerned about external appearances that they forget to remain humble, teachable and willing to serve without immediate rewards. Paul wanted to help people avoid being cut off from the blessings of God when they become proud. In this passage we learn how the Gentiles might be tempted to fall into similar traps that the Jews fell into. Paul did not want to see the Gentiles let their new spiritual privileges go to their heads. The great apostle did not want to see the new Christians take for granted all the blessings they had in Christ so he gives them an important caution in this text. Let us learn from what Paul and the scriptures teach us about the overcoming the problems of spiritual pride.
1. Proud people will be dealt with by God for their haughty attitudes. The Bible teaches us that, “God humbles the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God and He will exalt you in the proper time.” (I Pet. 5:5,6) We are enjoined to humble ourselves before God in our mind, actions and relationships before we have to be humbled by God in unpleasant ways. One of the reasons that God hates prideful attitudes is that He knows proud people are unwilling to yield their wills to His control. Part of growing in faith, like Abraham, is the continual expression of reliance on God’s directives rather than our own desires. Unless Abraham had been willing to offer his own son Isaac, God would not have been able to use him as the father of faith. More people are disqualified from fruitful service because of spiritual pride than any other reason. Ask the Lord to help you remain humble enough to do whatever He asks you to do while giving Him the credit for the results.
2. Proud people tend to trust more in their own insights than in God for their decisions. Arrogant people are often rely more their own subjective feelings instead of on the objectivity of God’s word to direct their paths. When certain people experience a series of successes they are more apt to make decisions upon their own conditioned expectations, traditions or historical record of performances. Do not fall into this trap of false security while forgetting that it is God who gives you the wisdom, strength and leading to know the best ways to go. People forget that God is not under any obligation to continue to bless us unless we are always looking to Him for His will in our lives. It was for this reason that the Jews were stripped of their exclusive advantages through a demonstration of ingratitude, abuse of privileges and arrogant disobedience toward God. When some churches fail to listen to God they become so stuck in the ruts of their traditions that they resist most changes. Church growth experts tell us that after fifteen years unless a church has enjoyed growth it is unlikely that they will pull out of a slow decline because the members have become too mired in their usual patterns. Let us not become so boastful of our knowledge that we refuse to listen for new instructions from God. Humble people are consistently willing to look to God for new ways that they can bring improvements to their church’s ministries. Ask the Lord to help you find ways that you can seek God’s mind in the best ways to bring about change in your personal and church’s spiritual progress.
3. Proud people tend to not give God the credit that is due Him. Just as the Jews thought they were a special people because of their heritage they forgot to give God the honor and credit for all of their blessings and deliverance. Now, Paul warns the Gentiles that they should not fail to give God all the honor, credit and praise for the righteousness that they enjoy in Christ and the accompanying fruits that come from His Spirit. One of the indication that people are not as grateful as they should be is the way they fail to serve God with their time, talents and resources. Proud people feel that they deserve to control all of their possessions without giving God what is due Him. Develop a healthy fear of God when it comes to expressing thanks to Him in real terms that demonstrate your thankful heart for all that He has done in you and for you.