Fighting with God.
3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. (NIV)
Can you imagine fighting with God? Yet, we position ourselves as the opponent of God when we are prideful. The Bible says God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. The prideful, whether they realize it or not are fighting with God.
To allow a haughty image of ourselves in our own minds brings the powerful right arm of God’s discipline down upon our lives. The command is clear: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought. The word ‘sober’ in this passage comes from a word that means ‘to rein in’ or ‘to curb.’
Pride, however, makes us blind to ourselves. The more prideful we are, the more we will struggle to see it. Our first inclination in how we imagine ourselves should be quickly reined in or curbed as a precaution since pride is born into us.
Second, we must take a pause to listen to our words, the context, and tone. If our conversation revolves around our gifts, talents, accomplishments, and all we are doing, pride is present. We can fool ourselves by using phrases such as ‘to God be the glory,’ but if the context of these phrases is intended to let people know all we are doing and what we can do, building up our own reputation, we clearly need to rein it in. We have positioned ourselves in opposition, fighting with God.
Paul presents faith as another litmus test. Faith is given to us by God as we receive it. And we are called by God to make every effort to add to our faith. Faith is more than saying we believe. The true level of our faith is seen in our behavior. We can look at the level of our obedience to evaluate ourselves soberly. Consider every tiny emotion that Christ would never feel. Consider every minuscule behavior Christ would never do. Consider if we honor God with our wealth to the level He has called us to. Consider every word you speak that does not lift others up. All of these will quickly remind us how much less we are than God and how humble we should be.
Pray: Lord, I choose today to remind myself that You are good and the only good in me is You. Help me to listen to my own words and note my behavior so that I might not be entrapped by the spirit of pride. Amen.