Pride. Ouch. No one wants to admit they have a problem with it, yet we all can relate in some way. Taking pride in something is one thing. But being prideful is something else.
I give grace to others but seldom to myself. I have one standard for others and another for myself. I expect more of myself, perfection at times. God gently pointed out to me that really, that is being prideful. “Oh, well, I can’t expect them to get this right, and that’s okay.” But when I fail… “Wow, how could I mess up like that? I should never mess up like that.” P.R.I.D.E. Oops.
Whenever we think we measure up as Christians, watch out. That’s pride talking. Not until we recognize how short we fall of God’s glory can God use us for His glory.
“In the year of King Uzziah’s death, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings; with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called out to another and said, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory.’ And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke. Then I said, ‘Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.’ ” ~ Isaiah 6:1-5
Isaiah quickly came to the realization that he didn’t “measure up” when he saw God, in all His glory, seated on His throne. When he acknowledged that he was “ruined”, Isaiah’s humble heart rendered him available for God’s service.
“Then one of the seraphim flew to me, with a burning coal in his hand which he had taken from the altar with tongs. And he touched my mouth with it and said, ‘Behold, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away, and your sin is forgiven.’ ” ~ Isaiah 6:6-7
Once we see our need, God cleans us right up.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” ~ 1 John 1:9
After God has washed our sins away, He clothes us in the righteousness of Jesus. We can do nothing to restore ourselves from being “ruined”. It is all a gift from God, through Jesus Christ.
“But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that being justified by His grace we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” ~ Titus 3:4-7
Nothing to be prideful about here ~ by God’s grace alone we are cleansed, clothed, restored, saved, made heirs, and given hope for eternal life with Him. All we can do is accept His gracious gift and say thank you!
And how do we show our thanks to the One and Only Almighty Creator God? By surrendering to His will and serving Him with our lives.
“Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?’ Then I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!’ ” ~ Isaiah 6:8
Thank you, LORD, for cleansing me. Here am I. Send me!