This morning, I read a few bible passages and two main themes stood out. Repentance and pride. Repentance is being sorry and sincerely regretting what we have done. God wants us to come to him and be sorry for our sins. The bible passage says that God longs to redeem them, but they speak of him falsely. I picture God waiting for us, hoping that we will come back to him, so he can wrap his arms around us and take away our pain. God wants to tell you how much he loves you. God longs to reveal to you why you are so special to him. God wants you to know that he made you for a purpose and has a plan for you. The bible passage says that instead of going to God and crying out from their hearts, they wail on their beds. They cry out in grief from their beds, instead of going to God.
I long to redeem them but they speak about me falsely.
They do not cry out to me from their hearts but wail on their beds.
–Hosea 7:13-14 (NIV)
The next bible passage is about King Hezekiah. He was dying, so he prayed to the Lord. God gave him a miraculous sign. Hezakiah’s heart was proud, so he didn’t respond to the Lord’s kindness. God was angry and his wrath was on him and Jerusalem. Hezekiah repented of the pride in his heart and God’s wrath did not come while he was alive. God was waiting and longing to redeem Hezekiah. Pride almost sabotaged Hezekiah.
Hezekiah’s Pride, Success and Death
In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. He prayed to the Lord, who answered him and gave him a miraculous sign. But Hezekiah’s heart was proud and he did not respond to the kindness shown him; therefore the Lord’s wrath was on him and on Judah and Jerusalem. Then Hezekiah repented of the pride of his heart, as did the people of Jerusalem; therefore the Lord’s wrath did not come on them during the days of Hezekiah.
–2 Chronicles 32:24-26 (NIV)
Pride is a complicated issue. Have you heard the expression, “Pride is the root of all evil”? I googled the definition and there is so much information about pride. The bible talks about pride. Forbes had an article about pride. Psychology Today had articles about pride. There are articles about addiction and pride. It seems there two types of pride. There is the authentic pride that comes from working hard and being proud of your accomplishments. Then, there is false pride. False pride leads to destruction. The bible talks about pride.
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.
–Proverbs 11:2 (NIV)
I think the scripture passage refers to what we label now as false pride. We don’t see ourselves honestly. We have grandiose views of ourselves. I think of Satan wanting to be equal to God. Pride is Satan’s downfall. We do not feel like we are enough, so we have unreasonable expectations of ourselves that we could never possibly live up to. We set ourselves up for failure, because we are not honest and realistic about ourselves. We try to go after some grand vision of how we think our life should be, thinking that it will solve everything. If we had this one thing, my problems would all go away. Have you ever thought like this? If I lose weight, I will magically be happy. If I got a raise at work, all my problems would be solved. If I get married, life will be perfect. If I have a baby, life will be complete. I think life would be happy, if all these things happened. The problem is that you are putting your worth and happiness in circumstances, instead of surrendering to God where you are at now.
False pride gives you a selective vision of your life. Once our grand ideas are deflated, we feel disgraced. After we fail, we can choose to be humble. We can surrender to God and accept that we were not being honest with ourselves. We were not being realistic. Once we get to a place of being humble, we are ready to gain wisdom. What is wisdom? Insight. Perception. Discernment. Understanding. Good judgement. We have to surrender to God, knowing and accepting that he is the almighty one. God made each of us to be enough. If we don’t believe that God made us to be enough, what are we saying to God? Do we think that we know better than God? That is destructive pride. It lurks around and sneaks up on you in unexpected ways.
I pray that I accept myself just as you made me. God, help me to see all the beauty inside of me. When problems and conflicts show up in my life, I pray that you guide me through them. God, I know you long to redeem me. Praying that you forgive me of all my sins. God, help me to see myself as you made me. God, protect me from pride.