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Saturday, August 8, 2015

Deceptive Pride

The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rocks and make your home on the heights, you who say to yourself, ‘Who can bring me down to the ground? Obadiah 1:3

I recently spent a weekend with a friend at his mountain home. The morning view was breathtaking with the looming cotton clouds draped like a warm blanket over the luscious evergreens. His spectacular view of God’s creation was accompanied by a humble view of himself. We spent much of the weekend discussing how he can better love his wife and steward well the Lord’s resources. He hasn’t allowed an elevated net worth to elevate himself over others. Person after person called my friend their friend. Faith in God keeps our feet grounded in good.

God’s prophet Obadiah describes a people who are deceived by pride. Their high view of themselves caused them to look down on others. Literally and symbolically their mountain homes deceived them into thinking they were better than the lowly laborers down below.

Money mocks those who make it their god. It mocks them with smug superiority, instead of a servant spirit. It mocks them with feelings of greed, instead of sensitive generosity. Most hideous is the mockery of a man’s heart with deceptive pride, instead of insightful humility.

“The remnant of my people will plunder them; the survivors of my nation will inherit their land. This is what they will get in return for their pride, or insulting and mocking the people of the Lord Almighty” (Zephaniah 2:9-10).

You may be the object of scorn from someone’s silly pride. Perhaps they play out their own insecurities by trying to intimidate you with innuendos. They may try to manipulate you by threatening to withhold money unless you meet their expectations. If another’s pride is assaulting your pride battle back with prayer. In prayer your heavenly Father takes your heart to a place of humility and peace, not fear or retaliation. If you fight pride with pride everyone loses. But if you confront pride with a calm spirit—your witness for Christ wins. Tackle pride with fearless faith.

Above all, by God’s grace we seek to keep our heart free from deceptive pride. The Lord will bring us low if we allow pride to take us to the high places of idolatry. Just as humility is the soil of virtue, so pride is the dirt where deceit grows. So, we listen and learn from those we encounter every day. It may be the common sense of a child that causes us to pause and ponder. Or, it could be the wisdom of an older person warning us to avoid their mistakes. Stay poor in spirit by being rich in good deeds. Fear God, despise sin and love people. Selflessness suffocates pride.

“He [Jesus] made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:7-8).

Prayer: Heavenly Father, elevate my worship, so I look up to You and not down on others.

Related ReadingsLeviticus 26:19; Psalm 18:27; Proverbs 17:5, 21:24; Daniel 4:37

~Wisdom Hunters Devotional~

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