I am, by nature, a proud person.
I suppose I got it from my father, who got it from his father. I never actually met his father, but I’m sure he is responsible for passing it along. I know that because I know that the father of us all – Father Adam – chose it and made it part of our race. From the moment that he thought himself better suited to rule his own life than God – and showed it by eating the forbidden fruit – pride became a part of our sinful, human nature. We naturally think ourselves fitter Captains of our destinies than the Lord Himself, and we value our own thoughts, opinions, desires, and feelings greater than those of anyone else. (Even the person who despises himself thinks his opinion is more important than God’s truth.) So, it’s only natural that we think of ourselves as better than others.
In respect to a recent federal holiday purportedly dedicated to equality, I’ve been pondering some truths to encourage humility in my own heart. Because really I’m no better – and no worse – than anyone else. I am your equal, as an American, a human, and a Christian. Of course we all know that line in the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” But here are some other lines that have affected me and, I hope, you:
- “So God created man in his own image…male and female created he them.”(Gen 1:27)
- “[God] hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth” (Acts 17:26)
- “…for there is no difference, for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:22c-23)
- “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16)
- “Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another” (1 John 4:11)
- “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself…,but if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin.” (James 2:8b-9a)
- “There is neither Jew nor Greek,…ye are all one in Christ.” (Gal 3:28)
- “…in lowliness of mind, let each esteem others better than themselves” (Phil 2:3b)
- “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” (Matt 5:5)
Indeed, it is difficult to see our our pride can survive in the face of such truth. And yet it persists, opposed only by the saving grace of God which was demonstrated in Jesus when he…
“…made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow…and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Phil 2:7-11)
For His glory and your joy,