Do you ever stop to think about who benefits from your actions? In a lot of cases, the things we do are designed to help us benefit from our actions. If we benefit from our actions, is it also fair to say, we do things to get recognition as well? Since we were babies, we have been conditioned to try to do things for applause. When you clap for a baby, their face lights up. When they start talking, they say, “Look at me,” and then they do something to try to get praise. Unfortunately, when this transitions into adulthood, it becomes something that can inflate our pride. When that happens, we begin to be controlled by what other people think.
Pride is very dangerous. Look at King Saul. He started off very humble. When Samuel found him, he referred to himself as a man from the smallest tribe and the least important family. After he became king, that humility left him and pride took its place. He made decisions that benefited himself rather than God or others. It got the the point that God was sad that he ever made Saul king. When Samuel went to Saul to break the news that God was going to take the kingdom away from him in 1 Samuel 15, Saul was setting up a monument to himself. Pride had taken over Saul’s life to the point he only cared about what God wanted when he got caught or was in a bind.
Romans 8:5 says, “Those who are motivated by the flesh only pursue what benefits themselves. But those who live by the impulses of the Holy Spirit are motivated to pursue spiritual realities” (TPT). When pride is in the driver’s seat of our life, we do things that benefit ourselves and bring us glory. 1 Peter 5:5 tells us that God is opposed to the proud. We must learn to seek God rather than the praise of men. Romans 8 draws a line between those who are Spirit minded and fleshly minded. The fruit of our lives will show which mind we have. Our motivation matters and is the difference between being humble or filled with pride.