“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men. Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.” (Tit. 2:11-12)
From The Christian Life in the Danger Zone
One conclusion we can draw from all of this is that pride is not a problem for God. God does not struggle with the character flaw of a swelled head. God’s sense of self-worth is so finely balanced and His perspective is so true in its outward looking viewpoint that He can rise above the destructive elements of pride.
But in our current fallen condition pride is one of our biggest enemies. We think we know best. We want to do things our way. The central theme in the biblical narrative stories of faith is that God displaces our way with His way.
Joseph tries to procure his release from Pharaoh’s prison through the butler and baker…but this fails…because God has a better way. Joseph stays put in Pharaoh’s prison until God’s timing plays itself out perfectly.
Moses impulsively kills the Egyptian and must flee from Egypt into exile…having no concept of how God plans to liberate the growing nation of Israel in bondage in Egypt…until God’s correct timing plays itself out perfectly.
In his early military campaigns, David may optimistically think that he can quickly defeat the Philistines like he killed Goliath, and rid the nation of Israel from constant foreign threat. But David discovers over time that God’s ways are different from his own. David discovers that there is a definite process requiring patience, faith, and trust in God to becoming a godly king. David realizes that he cannot lower himself to take the shortcut route of killing King Saul himself on two separate opportunities, to make himself king. David realizes there is a right way to becoming the king of Israel, and that this right way belongs exclusively to God.
On the road to Damascus, as Jesus reveals Himself as Messiah to Saul the young Pharisee, Saul/Paul’s pride about the rightness of his own way is crucified on the cross of Christ, and a radical humility is born within Paul that will allow him to take the gospel message of grace and forgiveness…without condescension and self-righteous, judgmental pride… to the idol-worshipping, polytheistic Gentiles of the first-century Greco-Roman world.
John 12:24 reads: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” A few verses later Jesus then says: “Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour” (Jn. 12:27).