Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Pride and Jealousy

I was reading in 3 John this morning and verses 9-10 are verses I've tended to quickly skim over but the Lord brought it to my attention this morning:

I wrote something to the church; but Diotrephes, who loves to be first among them, does not accept what we say. For this reason, if I come, I will call attention to his deeds which he does, unjustly accusing us with wicked words; and not satisfied with this, he himself does not receive the brethren, either, and he forbids those who desire to do so and puts them out of the church.

As I was reading this passage this morning, I was reflecting on the fact that I always thought... how dare Diotrephes prevent this church from hearing what John wrote to them! But as I look at it more closely and look at my own heart, I see my own tendency to pride. Have there been times in which someone had better insight into something, and I chose to speak rather than listen? That sounds much more holy doesn't it? I just spoke rather than listened--one of those sins that we as Christians tend to sweep into the "it's okay" pile. But at the root of my desire to speak rather than listen was pride--I was "loving to be first". How many times have I put others down so that I look better? This is an area that God has really been working on my heart in the last several years. It was something I was constantly doing. I made excuses in my head like: "It's all in fun"... "I don't really mean it"... "They do it too"... etc. But at the root of all those things was the pride which God opposes. Take a look at Psalm 138:6:
For though the Lord is exalted, Yet He regards the lowly, But the haughty He knows from afar.

Proverbs 3:34:
Though He scoffs at the scoffers, Yet He gives grace to the afflicted.

Proverbs 29:23:
A man’s pride will bring him low, But a humble spirit will obtain honor.

Matthew 23:12:
Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.

Luke 1:52:
He has brought down rulers from their thrones, And has exalted those who were humble.

James 4:6:
But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

1 Peter 5:5:
You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.

May we walk in humility today, being quick to hear, slow to speak, putting others and more important than ourselves. What do we have that we did not receive? And if we did receive it, why do we boast as if we had not received it? (1 Corinthians 4:7)