Don’t you just love to admit when you’re wrong? Uhm... No.
But there is value in admitting a mistake. We can respect ourselves when we’re honest about our faults. We can sleep well at night when we let the wide safety net of grace fill in the gaps created by our flaws. We experience grace. We can move on. We can try again. And we find we’re more prone to giving away that same grace we've received, forgiving others, and extending patience a little further than we would have before.
God’s words remind us that we experience Him drawing ever nearer to us when we’re honest with ourselves and others… when we get just plain genuine and stop trying to hide behind gusto, bravado, and even outright dishonesty or lies. We know it’s true that, in Christ, God never leaves us, but He still somehow moves even closer when we reject pride. When we’re humble… God is near. And His presence and peace, His covering of grace and forgiveness, can rescue us from the heat of anger that follows pride through the doorway of our life. Pride led to Satan’s fall. So don’t be misled: The consequences of pride will always be severe and will always involve more loss than we ever thought possible.
This is true in every part of our lives, including the church. A few years ago, an extensive survey of thousands of church-goers, many of whom self-identified as “close to Christ,” revealed a sense of being under-served—and a resulting dissatisfaction—in the church. In spite of all Jesus has done for us, there was a sense of lack, a desire for more, more, more. What bubbled up was the discovery of a highly consumeristic approach to spirituality. A kind of expectation applied to the church that we might use in how we feel about customer service anywhere else in our lives.
We are not participating in some sort of spiritual entertainment industry. So we need to adjust our expectations accordingly. We remind ourselves that Jesus came not to be served, but to serve. And that we are not here to be coddled or made exceedingly comfortable. With this new set of expectations we are less easily offended, we are more content, and we reject the foothold that the enemy wants to leverage due to the anger of offended pride.
Pray and ask God to expose and remove every bit of pride from your life. And to infuse your heart and mind with humility.