Tag Archives: prideful

A Blessing Thief


If I’m honest, I’d rather be a person who helps others than a person who receives help from others. It’s hard for me to accept help even when I need it. There have been times in my life though when I’ve needed help because I was unable to do what needed to be done. When others tried to help, I tried to push them away. Then one day, a person who was trying to help me said, “You’re robbing me of my blessing if you don’t let me help!” I had never thought of it like that.

I had forgotten that it is more blessed to give than to receive. I was definitely blessed by their giving, but I didn’t think about the blessing on the other side. I know they weren’t doing it for the blessing, but in my refusal, I was robbing them of what they would have received from God for helping me. Every act of service gets two blessings. By declining my blessing (which was a dumb thing), I was denying them theirs. So why do we reject help?

For me, I grew up in a family that needed the help of others often. God was always faithful to us and people showed up at the right times. I’ll never forget one family that helped me in particular. As they gave me a tremendous gift, I asked how I could repay them. They said, “One day when you’re able, do the same for others.” I decided then and there that I wanted to be a person who helped others rather than a person who needed help. So when I need help, it takes me back to that time and feelings of being the poor kid come up.

In Matthew 10, Jesus was sending out the disciples to preach all over Israel. He told them not to take any money, which meant they would be dependent on other’s help. He knew that needing help also keeps us humble. In verse 41 He spoke a life changing truth when He said, “Accepting someone’s help is as good as giving someone help” (MSG). By accepting help from others, you are actually helping them. They get a blessing from your acceptance. Don’t deny or rob others of blessings because of pride. Look at it as your way of helping them when you have nothing else to give. Don’t be a blessing thief.

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Pride And Correction


I went to small, Christian, high school with a graduating class of 16 students. During my senior year, as I would walk down the hall, I would jokingly yell out, “Out of the way, underclassmen! There’s a senior coming through.” It got to the point I had one of the underclassmen walk in front of me and do it for me. We would laugh and I would tell him, “Thanks for showing your proper respect.” We would then go to our classes and do it again after the next bell.

One afternoon a teacher pulled me aside and said, “I’ve been hearing you call out for people to get out of your way and I don’t like it or think it’s funny. In fact, I believe it’s the sin of pride.” I was shocked and embarrassed. I started to push back and said, “It’s just a joke.” He told me, “It’s not really a joke. I’ve watched you over the years and this isn’t you. You’re losing the respect of others, including myself. Pride is serious.”

I had a choice to make. I could tell him he was overreacting and keep on doing it or I could listen to his correction in love and change. I thought about it all night before I prayed, “God, if by doing this I’m committing the sin of pride, I ask you to forgive me and help me to be humble.” I didn’t do it again, and I even stopped the underclassman from doing it for me. I explained I was wrong, that I asked God to forgive me, and that I was sorry I got him involved. It was humbling to be corrected so boldly, but it was necessary to my future.

It’s not fun being corrected by someone else, especially when you’re on the wrong. Everything in you wants to fight back, justify your actions, and to keep doing it out of spite. That’s not God’s plan though. Proverbs 10:17 says, “People who listen when they are corrected will live, but those who will not admit that they are wrong are in danger” (GNT). We all are in need of correction from time to time. What really important is how we respond to it. I may not like it when I’m corrected, but if I’m wise, I’ll listen to it and correct my ways. That’s God’s plan for each of us. None of us are above correction, but all of us have a choice in how we respond to it.

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Stubborn Pride

  

I’m about as stubborn of a person as they come. In some cases, I’ve spent a lifetime trying to figure out when it is advantageous to be stubborn and when it is detrimental. I don’t always pick the right one. Sometimes I’m stubborn and it pays off, while other times it gets me into trouble. I’ve learned it usually works against me when I’m so set on how I want to do something, that I refuse to listen to wisdom. In those cases, it doesn’t matter how sound or logical the opposing argument is, my stubbornness refuses to allow me to listen.

In I Samuel 8, Israel was at that same place. They knew that Samuel was a person who spoke with God and that his judgements were good. They had watched God use him since he was a boy. When he grew old, he appointed his sons as judges, but they didn’t listen to God like Samuel did. They took bribes and perverted judgement, so the leaders decided to confront Samuel about it. Instead of just asking for their removal and for new judges, they asked for a king.

Samuel was heartbroken. He felt rejected and disappointed in his sons, I’m sure. He went to the Lord about it. In verse 7, the Lord said to Samuel, “Do everything they say to you, for they are rejecting me, not you” (NLT). Then a few verses later, He finished by giving Samuel instructions, “Do as they ask, but solemnly warn them about the way a king will rule over them.” He wanted Samuel to give them wisdom before they made their final decision.

Samuel listed out the things a king would do to their kids, take from their homes, and tax. 1 Samuel 8:19-20 gives us their response. “But the people wouldn’t listen to Samuel. ‘No!’ they said. ‘We will have a king to rule us! Then we’ll be just like all the other nations. Our king will rule us and lead us and fight our battles’” (MSG). Samuel took what they said to God, and He gave them a king. He gave them what they wanted, even though it was not His will because they wouldn’t listen to wisdom. God may grant your request, but it doesn’t mean it was the wisest choice.

Reading this story reminds me that God has placed people in my life to give me wisdom. It’s my choice to listen to them or to be stubborn in my ways. Proverbs 28:26 gives us insight to this kind of thinking. It says, “It is foolish to follow your own opinions. Be safe, and follow the teachings of wiser people” (GNB). Stubbornness leads us down the path of foolishness while wisdom takes us down safe paths. If you’re facing a difficult situation, ask God to put people in your life who can give you godly wisdom, then follow it. 

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