“But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” – James 4:6
Imagine an arrogant movie star or narcissistic politician. What faces come to mind? Now, those individuals definitely appear to have a pride problem, right? It seems almost too easy to call out egotism in others…while often minimizing its presence in our own lives. After all, adjectives like “smug, conceited, self-righteous” are pretty harsh when turned on ourselves.
Are you ready to get real honest for a second? God opposes the proud because as long as you are living for yourself, attempting to build a world that is all about you, you are living in opposition to God. Now, not everyone lives with an obvious “look at me” mentality. But pride is much more than flamboyant arrogance and narcissism. In fact, I would argue that the more subtle that pride appears in our lives, the more dangerous it can be.
Pride always leads us to want more for ourselves while at the same time, leading us away from thinking about how we can love, serve, and share with others. More accurately, pride is the attitude that asks: “What’s in it for me?” It is the desire to control and use situations, things, or people for our own selfish desires.
Perhaps the greatest danger with the “what about me” mentality is how it prevents us from seeing the beauty of God’s grace. Look around; how many people are missing out on the incredible gift of God’s grace because of their independent, “what about me” mentality? Busyness, comparison, competition – we’re so focused on ourselves that we are failing to recognize our need for a Savior. Pride deceives us into believing that we can eventually do enough to earn God’s favor.
So, what about you? Are you living out of a place of pride, consumed with a “what about me” mentality? Be honest and ask God for the humility to really self-reflect and take the time to examine your heart. Why? Because there’s so much more to life than just me.
Adapted from a sermon by Senior Pastor George Wright, Shandon Baptist Church, Columbia, SC