Saturday, 30 June 2012

July Challenge - Pride

Source for this image here.

"For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.
Do ye look on things after the outward appearance? if any man trust to himself that he is Christ's, let him of himself think this again, that, as he is Christ's, even so are we Christ's". (2 Corinthians 10: 3-7).

Yesterday when we were having our family devotional after our evening meal, Papa Bear shared that he thought as it would be the start of a new month on Sunday, it would be good to do another of the "Revive Our Hearts" monthly challenges.  I've done some of these alone, and some we have done together as a family (they are mainly aimed at women, but we have found several that were easily adapted for the whole family to do jointly).  It's been a while since we did one together though, so we all agreed this was an excellent plan.

The big question then was, which challenge should we do?  We had a discussion about some of the character qualities that we feel we need to work on together, and one of the ones that everyone thought was a really good one to work on, was the quality of humility.  Today we had a look at the Revive Our Hearts website, and were very pleased to find that there is a 41 day challenge, all about pride!  If you would like to see it, or look at any of the other challenges or inspirational and motivational articles on the website you can follow the link here.  At first glance, looking through, I think this is going to be a challenge for everyone!

It's very easy to slip into prideful thinking or behaviour.  It's an inherent flaw in our fallen natures, borne out of our inclination to try to act independently of God's will for us, as portrayed by the original sin in the Garden of Eden.  Eve thought that she knew better than God, that she didn't need to listen to His commands, that she could act independently, without considering the consequences.  It is this sort of determination to follow our own paths without seeking the guidance of God first that can lead us into all sorts of problems.   Pride leads us to believe we know best what is good for us, and makes us fall into all kinds of other sinful behaviours too, such as intolerance, impatience, arrogance, greed and selfishness, just to name but a few. 

The Book of Proverbs provides us with many references to the sin of pride - in Proverbs 8:3, Proverbs 11:2, Proverbs 25:27, Proverbs 26:12, and Proverbs 27:2 there is plenty of wise advice about why we must avoid sin, and we would do well to remember perhaps that most famous of verses in Chapter 16, verse 18 -

"Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall".

I am looking forward to starting our challenge tomorrow!  We have all agreed to keep a journal for the month of July where we shall work on the character quality of humility, and focus on the elements of our behaviour and thoughts that are counter to this, and on occasions when we can remember God's will for us, rather than seeking our own will, and determine to act with a meek and gentle spirit instead -

"But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price". (1 Peter 3: 4).