Pride is an Enemy of Love
A devotional by Gena Anderson
But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” –James 4:6 (NKJV)
I once prided myself on being my family’s chief financial officer. When I began struggling to maintain, I first attempted to fix our finances by myself, then conceal them, and later blame them on my husband. Like a pudgy dog trying to jump on the couch, the weight of the struggle became too much, and when I fell flat on my face I was forced to see how low my pride had sunken me. Finding humility, I asked God and my husband for help.
Barely making ends meet, buried in debt, my husband and I worked together to rebuild and submit our money to God. I created a tight budget that fit like my Spanx, and prayerfully followed a plan to get into the black. After months of chipping away at bills the time came to revisit the budget and make use of some newfound wiggle room. Reworking the numbers, I yearned to use the new surplus on something indulgent, perhaps a night out or pedicure, but I knew what took priority.
From my view at the bottom of the financial ditch I saw the root issue: tithing. We were giving a comfortable amount, but God wants us to give freely and generously, promising abundance in return as He says to us in Luke 6:38 and Proverbs 11:24. In my realization of complete humility I had asked God to help me increase our tithe to an amount unimaginable in our broken state, and committed to getting there. This was the first opportunity toward generous giving, and I was ready. I allotted almost half of our long-awaited gain to tithe, knowing that investment would pay better dividends than a meal at Chilis.
Later that week I revisited the budget and realized I had miscalculated. Missing a monthly deposit, I undercalculated our income. We actually had a surplus double my original figure. After all the financial stress and penny-pinching this find was a God-sent gift, and I heard God’s message loud and clear: His ways are superior, and we benefit more by submitting and giving to Him than we do by withholding. I learned to love God instead of money and shed the weight of pride, gaining a pressed down, shaken together, running over gift that remains still.
James 4:6 says God resists the proud but blesses the humble beyond what they deserve. Reading that verse, I wondered what God finds so detestable about pride that he resists the prideful. Then I remembered, my pride led to financial destruction and sin, and humility was what ignited reparation. I believe that pride is more divisive in the church than adultery, murder, abortion, and any other headline issue, because it is the fuel behind all of those things and the root of selfish desires.
Pride is . . . trying to do it all and not asking for help . . . putting today’s achievement over eternal investment . . . finding satisfaction and pleasure in self over God . . . wanting to be saved without admitting the need for a Savior.
Christians like to hide our dirty laundry. The world needs to see our brokenness in order to witness God’s work in our lives and know they aren’t the only ones struggling. James reminds us God resists diving into our stinky pile of dirty clothes as long as we hide it, but brings powerful, heavenly-scented detergent to clean it all up when we release pride.
Christians sometimes struggle to work together, taking God’s design of a servant heart and twisting it into overbearing church volunteers that seek control and offer criticism. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 says our gifts and talents are useless without love. The humble love of God and others over ourselves is one that collaborates with and offers praise to their brothers and sisters.
People who love others as Jesus loves them (John 15:12) sift out and remove pride. This is not a call to shame, but to repentance. Tara-Leigh Cobble said on The Bible Recap, “confident humility is when you’re not building or beating yourself up.” God loves us enough to forgive and forget any sin that’s confessed and turned from.
Humility is the elevation of God, more than it is the lowering of self, and what is the church if not adept at raising up the name of the one we claim to praise? Ask yourself and God today how you’ve let pride overshadow love. Humble yourself so God can exalt you (James 4:10), and be filled with a love so great it will spill out to the world.
Let’s Pray: Lord, you are the only one who can be and do it all. Open my eyes to see where I’ve allowed pride to divide and destroy my life. Forgive me and help me to do better. Thank you for your never ending love and patience with me, help me to offer the same to those in my path today. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.
Gena Anderson is a Jesus-lover, writer, nurse practitioner, and blogger who loves to share wellness information and inspiration with the world around her.
She is the author of The Well Woman: A Journey to Wellness Through Loving Jesus, which is available on Amazon.com.
Gena proudly holds the title of wife, mom, and the world’s most average CrossFitter. She loves writing, reading, traveling, and brownies. She's working on that last one.
Gena lives in Hutto, Texas with her husband and two children.
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