DON’T BE PUFFED UP

The NKJ version of I Corinthians 13:4b says that “love does not parade itself, is not puffed up.  The NLT uses the word pride.  Now, I am sure none of us would like to admit that we are proud or “puffed up.”

Remember the story that Jesus related in Luke 18:10:-14:  Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.  The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, “God, I thank you that I am not like other men…executioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector.  I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’  And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’  I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other, for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will also be exalted.”

Love cannot co-exist with pride.  When we truly love others, we will forget our needs and interests, in order to meet the need of those we love.  Jesus has told us that we should love others as we love ourselves. 

One of the times when my pride is most evident is when I meet or encounter someone who doesn’t look like me or even like my concept of a “good” person.  I know that God loves everyone as much as he loves me.  But, I find it hard to love or even “like” the person who is unlovely.  The sinner, the unwashed, the poorly clothed….boy, does my pride ever take over my thoughts and actions. 

I also exhibit pride when I have done something that I think is worthy.  I actually think that I deserve a “pat on the back”.  I forget that God says that we are to do our alms in secret and He will reward us because He sees what we do in secret. Matthew 6:18, (my paraphrase.)

Let’s face it….pride is a sin!  God is love and there is no pride in His love…it is pure and unconditional.  I need to love others with the same love God bestows on me.  I guess I had better confess my sin of pride and allow God’s love to flow through me to everyone I meet!

Won’t you join me in my confession and resolution to forsake the sin of pride?