How To Stop Drinking Too Much Pride
“Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men, of like nature with you, and we bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them. In past generations, he allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways. Yet he did not leave himself without witness, for he did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.” Even with these words, they scarcely restrained the people from offering sacrifice to them. — Acts 14:15-18
I am amazed by how hard Paul and Barnabas had to fight off the god-like worship of them by the men of Lystra. Did you notice that last verse? It read, “Even with these words they scarcely restrained the people from offering sacrifice to them.”
Over the last decade, so many Christian men and leaders have been corrupted by the clutches of fame that leads to pride. This is because the call of pride is intoxicating. Men drink of it and become inebriated by the promise of power and control. And then ultimately, pride matures and becomes narcissism that attempts to control the people who celebrated and supported their rise to stardom. And then the only way to whittle down their pride becomes a tragic fall from their glory that is not only humbling but is humiliating.
I think how Paul and Barnabas respond here is a beautiful indication of a great man of God. Great men can war off at all costs the beckoning cry and lure of pride. Even when forcibly projected onto him, he can reasonably and with precision project the glory to God. And notice how they do it in this text. By preaching a couple of things to others what simultaneously preach to themselves. First, that God is the one and only God, and they are not. Second, that only God can satisfy, and they cannot. And I believe deflecting the glory people project onto us instantly and verbally is what great Christian men do. Because when done promptly and from the right motivation, this prevents a man from drinking from the bottle of pride.
Try it. The next time someone gives you an “atta-boy,” deflect glory to God. Point to Him and say it out loud. And see if God doesn’t speak to them and you all at the same time.
ASK THIS: What glory do you need to give to God right now?
DO THIS: Deflect the glory that belongs only to Him.
PRAY THIS: God, may I be a humble man so that pride will never have me. Keep me sober and full of humility.
PLAY THIS: To Be Like You — Hillsong.
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