Sunday, October 7, 2012
"It is the holiness of God that compels our hearts to cry out for the grace of God." ~Max Lucado
Grace, humility, joy, repentance, forgiveness, love..... words that many people use several times a day, yet do not put much thought into them as they say them. Whether we realize it or not, these words are powerful! It is holiness that produces humility and grace that is applied to humility. It is repentance that produces joy and forgiveness that is applied to love. We live in a world that teaches us to wear masks to impress others and a world that teaches us we can never get away from the pasts that haunt most of us. We attempt to tell ourselves, "well I'm not as bad as him," or "well, at least I don't....," or "well I know how she is," or "well I heard once he...." and we do this to make ourselves feel better for our own skeletons, secrets, or sins. I will never understand why putting somebody else down is the oldest mechanism for self-worthiness. You know what really happens when we do this? We don't really start to feel better about ourselves but we then start to build pride in our own hearts.
I'm starting to understand why God wants to protect us from gossip and being a "busy body". Not only does this prevent hurting our brothers and sisters but this also prevents us from hurting ourselves. Pride, another ugly word that most of us do not even realize we have marinating in our own hearts, minds, and souls. It's there folks. Every time you judge another person, every time you tell yourself that your life is "better" than somebody else's life, every time you help somebody and expect something in return, every time you turn an apology away from a loved one because "they did you wrong and you just can't,", every time we think our sin is not as bad as somebody else's sin, and every time we gossip about others. Pride! It's hurtful! We have the power to hurt others with our pride!
Some people will read this today and not even realize the pride they hold in their own heart or the damage this does to a soul, relationships, image, and most importantly to a relationship with God. The enemy will use pride to destroy us inside and to destroy the relationships around us. The enemy will use pride to steal the love we have in ourselves to share with others. Pride! Such an ugly word and an ugly sin! If we have prideful hearts, how can we be able to accept the free gift of grace? The answer is simple, we can't. So, I challenge you today to pray and ask God to forgive you and to cleanse your heart and replace pride with grace. It can and will be done folks, if you ask for it! He is waiting to fill us with mercy and grace. He is waiting for us to cleanse our heart and soul and to show love to our neighbors, family, friends, and enemies. Don't let pride keep you from grace, joy, love, or forgiveness. It will if you allow it to.
"The Lord laughs at those who laugh at Him, but He gives grace to those who are not proud." Proverbs 3:34
"If you respect the Lord, you will also hate evil. I hate pride and bragging, evil ways and lies." Proverbs 8:13
"Pride leads only to shame; it is wise to be humble." Proverbs 11:2
"Whoever loves pure thoughts and kind words will have even the King as a friend." Proverbs 22:11
"if you are selfish and have bitter jealousy in your hearts, do not brag. Your bragging is a lie that hides the truth." James 3:14
"People who work for peace in a peaceful way plant a good crop of right-living." James 3:18