July 1, 2015
Nailing Our Ego to the Cross
Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you (Romans 12:3b, NIV).
Friend to Friend
A famous explorer in South America was once forced to abandon his journey by an almost invisible enemy. He was equipped to meet leopards, serpents and crocodiles. They proved to be no threat, but what he had failed to consider were the tiny insects called chiggers. They are so tiny that in North America we call them the "no see-ums."
Pride and chiggers have a lot in common. Pride comes in little ways. Unguarded attitudes and random thoughts are prime breeding grounds for pride. We must take charge of those thoughts, discipline our attitudes, and train our thinking processes to obey God.
Pride loves to take up residence in an undisciplined thought life, changing the setting, and dictating attitudes with little or no resistance. When Paul encouraged the believers in Rome to cultivate “sober judgment,” he was warning them to take charge of their minds, refusing to allow the entrance of any thoughts that would entertain pride. A disciplined thought life is the very foundation of a solid faith.
I have heard it said that the bigger a man’s head gets, the easier it is to fill his shoes. It is not wrong for Christians to recognize and even applaud gifts in our own lives and in the lives of others. We just need to be careful to remember that those spiritual gifts are ours to manage - not to own. When we fail to deflect the applause to God, pride draws attention to those God-given gifts and tempts us to take credit for their existence and how they are used. Many of us attempt to find worth and identity in what we do – not in who we are. We try to draw the attention of anyone and everyone in a vain effort to establish self-worth.
The frontline of battle against pride is in the mind. We must “take our thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5, NASB). To take something captive is a military tactic we must use to guard against pride. I sometimes think pride can actually crawl into my mind and grab hold of any undisciplined thoughts floating around. Pride then flings those random thoughts into my heart as an attitude laced with burning arrogance and prideful perception of who I am in comparison to others. And that is sin.
We can change our lives by changing how we think. We can dictate the attitudes of our heart by fixing our thoughts on God and His truth. What does it mean to “fix” our thoughts? Webster’s Dictionary defines “fixed” as “rigid, solid or firm.” We must learn to fix our thoughts on the truth of God’s word. We need to be rigid in controlling our thought processes, holding firm to God’s standard for the mind. The result will be a stable way of thinking and living. To prevent pride requires a choice to take charge of the mind.
I once dated a young man I thought was “the one.” For some reason, my mother did not like him. Knowing her daughter well, my mother said nothing, but I am sure she was on her knees pleading with God to take that young man out of my life. He did. We eventually broke up, and my mother finally spilled the beans, explaining why she had a problem with this young man. “If I could buy him for what he’s worth and sell him for what he thinks he is worth, I would be a millionaire!” Mama did have a way with words. She was so right! Today, that man is out of ministry, divorced and living a life that is unpleasing to God. His pride robbed him of the best God had for him.
Don’t let that happen to you, girlfriend. Run from anyone or anything that promotes a prideful attitude. Eliminate the strongholds of pride in your life. Nail your ego to the cross and declare it powerless. Celebrate the trophy of grace you are in God.
Father, thank You for the grace You give. Thank You that grace covers all my sin with unconditional love and forgiveness. Help me walk in that grace, turning away from pride and arrogance. Give me a humble spirit that draws others to You. Help me learn to see myself through Your eyes and then live out what I see.
In Jesus’ name,
Now It’s Your Turn
One of my favorite quiet time exercises is to create an acrostic using one word from the passage of Scripture I have read that day, pinpointing and explaining the main truth in the Scripture. Try it! Let me help you get started.
P. Pompous mindset
I. I sentence my ego to
E. Eliminating pride
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