Pride. It’s something we all deal with and is usually the result of us feeling that we’ve accomplished something that deserves recognition. Pride fuels our ego and validates our actions and/or accomplishments.
We all want to feel relevant, to feel that we have a purpose and reason for being, but when does it cause a problem. Proverbs that says:
Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall. Proverbs 16:18
I have always understood this to mean that if we have a prideful heart, we will likely get distracted away from what we were doing by focusing on what we did rather than on what we have to do next.
Haven’t we all been there and done that?
I was talking with a good friend of mine in our men’s group this morning and I shared with him how I am working to overcome a prideful area of my life. I don’t want pride to stand in the way of what God is doing through me and to jeopardize the mission he set before me. Instead, I want to take a back seat and let God do his miracles, but sometimes God is asking to put some energy forward that he will work through. When we do this it’s easy to think that we accomplished something that was God’s doing.
It’s so easy to receive praise from others and get a puffed up heart. But, this is a sign that we are looking for validation from others rather than validation from God. We forget about what God’s doing and take credit for it ourselves in order to please someone else, not God. Isn’t this the same as idolatry? Aren’t we robbing God of the praise he deserves? Isn’t taking credit the same as bearing false witness?
My friend had some useful advice for me. He said that you can’t always reject praise from people. Sometimes you just need to accept it and take all the praise you’ve received and present it to God like a bouquet of flowers.
God deserves all our praise. He deserves to be recognized for everything good in our lives and even for our very existence. Without him, we wouldn’t have food to eat, air to breath, or a bed to rest on. We owe him everything.
So today, God, here’s my bouquet to you.