“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (1 Jn. 2:15)
From The High Standards of God for End-Times Christians
What gets people into trouble in terms of pride is that they want more than Jesus. Human nature wants Jesus plus worldly recognition and acceptance. We want Jesus plus the moniker of outwardly visible success. The problem with a genuine biblical walk of faith with God is that there isn’t anything honorable, pure, holy, or commendable beyond Jesus. Wanting more leads to the dispute of the apostles as they journeyed toward Jerusalem as to who should be the greatest. At that precise moment in time, the apostles possessed Jesus in the form of an intimate, accessible, physical person more than anyone has enjoyed in history. Yet they wanted more according to their fallen human natures. This character flaw had to be corrected if the new Christian church was to survive, flourish, and grow.
Paul honestly admitted that there was a part of him that “would desire to glory” (2 Corinthians 12:6). In Romans 7:15-25, Paul talks about the conflict of his two natures, the one that delights in the law of God after the inward man, and the other that attempts to bring him into captivity to the law of sin in his members. Also in Romans 12:3, Paul warns “every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.”
John 7:17-18 reads “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory; but he that seeketh His glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.”
For every Christian who is serving God in some capacity, there is a daily decision or bent of the heart to seek His glory and/or our own glory. The Holy Spirit reveals to us the spiritual pride that would tempt us to take what God has provided to us in terms of wisdom and light to use for our own glory. How do we rid ourselves of this tendency to seek recognition, attention, and acclaim for ourselves? The answer is to constantly remind ourselves to ask God to give us the strength and wisdom to “seek His glory that sent us,” to stay within the parameters of our mission as agents of the King, to stay within our calling as servant-leaders.
The context within which we live and work has a lot to do with how well we can resist the urge to dispute along the road who should be the greatest, and conversely how well we can focus instead upon being a “servant to all.” Being caught up within the center of God’s plan for us provides the protective context that wards off destructive spiritual pride. Being focused upon God’s leading takes our eyes off ourselves.