Posted by: glorifyhim1 | August 12, 2009

Pride in the Shower Stall

 

Today, God got my attention in a very unique way. It happened while I was cleaning our bathroom. Typically while I do my cleaning chores, I listen to the radio, or hum or sing (i.e. make a joyful noise), or I may even talk to God silently about something going on in my life or the lives of family members or others I know. On this particular morning, I was on my knees scrubbing the shower stall and thinking about something I had recently written. To be painfully honest, I was feeling somewhat proud of myself until I lifted my sanctimonious head and hit the shower knob hard enough to push it on. There I stood, fully clothed, holding my cleaner and sponge, with cold water splashing all over me!

 

Needless to say, I made a quick dash out of the shower stall, but as I stood dripping in the bathroom, I didn’t feel very prideful anymore. God had gotten my attention and I knew what He was saying. “A man’s pride will bring him low, but the humble in spirit will retain honor.” (Proverbs 29:23). I was reminded that anything I am able to do is only because of the Lord’s grace and tender mercies. What is important in life is not what I can do, but what God can do through me. It is not what I have, but what I do with what God has entrusted to me. It is not where I’m going, but where the Father takes me. And it’s not who I am, but who I belong to.

 

Proverbs 6:17-19 lists seven things that God hates – a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren. Pride is at the top of the list and is probably at the root of all the other things listed.

 

The pride that God hates is not the type of pride we feel over a job well done, nor does it refer to having a positive self-image. Instead it refers to an arrogance that is self-seeking and self-serving. It does not seek to honor God, but instead seeks only to elevate one’s self. While many of us can often recognize such an attitude in someone else, we often fail to see it in ourselves. Yet it is so easy to fall victim to self-absorbed, prideful ways. Desiring recognition, being obsessed with material things, and thinking only of one’s self are all examples of ways that pride can slip in. Pride can even become a snare for us in activities we consider God honoring. For example, “I’m at church every time the door is opened,” or “I read my Bible every morning when I first get up.” The Bible denounces all forms of pride, even spiritual pride (see Luke 18:9-14). 1 John 2:16 states “For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world.”  

 

The Bible tells us that man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). A proud heart is rebellious toward God, seeking to elevate himself instead of the God who has given him all that he has. How sad it must be for God to look upon us, His creation that He made and redeemed, and long to have a relationship with us, yet we are so preoccupied with ourselves, our wants and desires, and the things of the world that we cannot give Him the honor and glory due Him.

 

My moment in the shower stall reminded me how easy it is to let pride into our hearts. It also reminded me that the antidote for prideful thinking is thankful living. Psalm 95:2 states “Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.” When we keep our eyes on our Father and think of all He’s done for us, we cannot help but give Him thanks and praise. Turning praise we receive over to Him keeps that ugly pride monster where it belongs – washed down the drain of the shower stall.

 

 

Further Study: Proverbs 13:10

                        Proverbs 16:18

                        Proverbs 29:23

                        Psalm 95

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