Pride and Humility

The Scripture that declares that God gives grace to the humble but resists the proud (James 4:6) is easy to understand at one level, but can be difficult to accept in practice. This was Paul’s point as he concluded his discussion in Romans 9. When he declared that the Gentiles, who had lived dissolute lives were accepted by God, because they repented with faith in Jesus, while the Jewish people who had lived morally upright lives were rejected, because they thought they were good enough through their efforts, rather than also placing their faith in Jesus. The immoral people who came to Jesus, understood their position and repented. However, the moral people who came to Jesus felt themselves justified and were blind to their own pride. Their pride is why both John the Baptist and Jesus referred to the religious people as children of the devil, because they struggled with the same problem that consumed Satan, pride.

As a result, it can be hard for us to accept when we see God blessing and working powerfully in a person who once lived a horrible life. While we may have lived an outwardly better life, we may not see that same blessing on our life and wonder why. We need to learn not to be either impressed or distracted by the person through whom God works, because it is the Spirit dwelling in that individual who is operating through and partnering with them. Remember, all the 12 disciples including Judas Iscariot prophesied, cast out demons and healed people, but Jesus would later say of Judas that it would have been better had he never been born. God can and has the right to choose any person or any type of person to communicate His message and promote His kingdom. The better response is to accept and be open to the fact that we can learn from anyone, because the Spirit of God may use anyone, young or old, moral or immoral, to teach us. Then it is that humility to learn from anyone, that will also open up the way for the Spirit of God to work through us as well, whatever that may look like.

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