Monday, July 06, 2015

Are You Blind to Pride?

Amaziah, however, would not listen, for God so worked that he might deliver them into the hands of Jehoash, because they sought the gods of Edom. (‭2 Chronicles‬ ‭25‬:‭20‬ NIV)

This whole story of Amaziah is a picture of nearly every king of Judah found in 1 & 2 Chronicles and 1 & 2 Kings. These men struggled with pride. In most cases, their pride caused them to fall. The only real difference was how blind they were to their pride.

The root of sin is pride. Pride has many manifestations. In the end, it makes us vulnerable to the temptation leading us to sin against God. It gives us a false sense of security where we do not fear the Lord. As a result, we begin to see ourselves as self-sufficient. We make more and more decisions that revolve around us. We think too much about ourselves.

Amaziah did this. A prophet comes to him and tells him he can win his battle without the help of Israel, who he's hired for just that purpose. He remarkably follows the prophet's advice and sends Israel's army home. Judah then fights and wins the battle.

Now here's what's remarkable. Amaziah keeps for himself idols from the people he just conquered! He bows down and worships them! The prophet again comes to him and shows him how stupid this is asking, "Why do you consult this people's gods, which could not save their own people from your hand?" Pride truly blinds us. Especially in success.

God saved Judah in battle. Amaziah foolishly turns away from the Lord, who delivered them, to false gods. How blind can you get?

This is easy to see. However, our pride blinds us too. It's subtle. It shows up most when we're successful. It's consequences are tragic.

Amaziah loses his life as a result of this foolishness. Worse--the nation suffers because of his foolish pride. Many people in Israel and Judah suffer because this ruler makes foolish decisions rooted in pride he doesn't even see. He's blind to his bride.

We also have blind spots--created by pride in the wake of success. Make no mistake, we are prideful even when we're not successful. But we're more vulnerable when we succeed. We often believe we were successful because of our great skill, intellect, charisma, etc. We usually forget that it was God with us that led us to succeed thus failing God's test. We are often blind to pride.

What can we do? Some suggestions:

1. Pray daily asking God to reveal your blindspots. Be particularly aware of your recent successes or wins. Could these be blinding you?
2. Embrace relationships where others feel free to speak into your life when you need them to. This takes time to nurture. You must prioritize this re-ordering of your life to create space for this to happen. It will not happen unless you intentionally make space for it.
3. Confess your sin as soon as you recognize pride in your life. No matter how small. Don't delay. Deal with your pride tenaciously and persistently.

A great additional resource for this is CJ Mahaney's book "Humility".

Remember, as soon as you think you have humility, you just lost it.

Remember, too, that God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. (James 4:6)

What is God saying to me today?

What am I going to do about it?