God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. James 4:6 (NIV)
Part 7 – Pride – In the Name of Love
I wonder what would have happened if Adam and Eve had humbled themselves before God after eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? If they hadn’t hidden their nakedness, but came before God in their sin to be fully seen and fully known for exactly who they were and what they had done?
For Adam and Eve, the knowledge of what was right came with the knowledge of what was wrong. It's this dual awareness that drives us to our knees in shame, guilt, and ultimately pride. The desire to do what is good and our inherent nature to do what is evil is a tension that lives within us all in varying degrees.
When my kids do something wrong, they do one of two things; they either try to hide whatever has happened from me or they try and make up for what they’ve done in order to appease me (pay their debt).
What I want from them more than anything when they do something wrong is their honesty. “Mum, I told a lie. Mum, I hit my sister. Mum, I stole my friend's lunch. Mum, I did say that bad word…”
Sweet music to my ears.
We're all students; life is for learning and growing. Honesty, vulnerability and authenticity is the pathway to growth.
God’s ways are higher than ours. In our limitations to understand him and how wide and deep and high and long his love is for us, he sent us a beautiful, incredible, beyond generous sacrifice to show that there is nothing we can do to make him love us more. His love is his gift to us, not something we must earn from him. The only sacrifice to be made is of pride; to defy shame, to come humbly before him in our nakedness, heart bare, sin showing, falling short… warts and all. When God asks, “where are you?” you respond, “Here I am.”
A broken and contrite spirit is just one that's honest about its humanity. It doesn’t try to hide itself away or prove itself worthy. Even in its brokenness it knows it is accepted in the beloved, (Eph 1:6) and comes before the throne of grace in humble confidence, assured that it will be received despite its state. (Heb 4:16).
Sacrifice is seen in two ways. We either sacrifice our pride leading us toward love. Or we sacrifice love to protect our pride, which leads us towards division, disunity and disconnection.
Which will you sacrifice? What will you lay to rest on the altar of your life?
James 4:6 says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
At the heart of sacrifice is love. You don’t sacrifice to make amends, you sacrifice because you value something, someone, a movement, a thought, an idea… love. You will never regret the sacrifice of your pride in order to be vulnerable, known and seen before God and others. But you’ll never truly experience real love if you keep sacrificing vulnerability for the sake of your pride.
God sacrificed all he had to show you his deep and abiding love. Healthy sacrifice unites, unhealthy sacrifice divides.
Don’t hide. Don’t cover up. Don’t lie. Don’t be beaten by shame or overcome with pride.
Be you, be known, be loved and be free.
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