Pride and Selfishness
Reading Philippians 2:3-11 which shows Christ as the supreme example of humility and selflessness.
- God hates pride.
- Proof is in the Scriptures quoted.
- Examples of pride in Scripture: Satan, Pharaoh, Absalom, Nebuchadnezzar, Haman.
- God hates pride because it is an exalting of self and independency and is the opposite of glorifying him (Romans 3:23), thus stealing his glory (Isaiah 48:11).
- Pride takes the form of glorying in: achievement e.g.in sport, business (riches), children, spiritual knowledge, social or church status, self-righteousness (Pharisee and all false religion).
- Believers can boast only in knowing God (Jer. 9) and in the cross (Paul).
- We thought that contempt of gross sinners might prevent effective witness as trust needs to be gained to share the truth but we must always remember that but for grace we are the same and the antithesis precludes real friendship with unbelievers.
- Good (Reformed) doctrine can puff up and it is always a mistake to think we can change people.
- Anything we are or achieve should be cause for thanksgiving, acknowledging God (I Sam.2:7, Psalm 75:6-7, I Cor.15:10) and rejoicing with others’ achievements.
- Seeking recognition is countered by: the fact all our springs (standing) is in Christ, we are stewards of everything, we are actually unprofitable servants and God must be given the glory.
- Sinful independence was manifested in the fall of man and manifests in boasting and planning without reference to God (James 4:13-16, Prov.3:5-6, John 15:5), resisting authority especially God’s, being unteachable, forgetting to pray!
- Selfishness is manifest in always wanting our own way, always speaking about ourselves, hoarding our time and money, not being hospitable, inviting others or sharing what we have and about ourselves
- We can become more selfless by praying for others, going out to them in asking them things and listening to them and looking out for their needs.
- We should share our time, our home, our money, our spiritual blessings and our spiritual gifts (hospitality, prayer, letters, books, blogs, fellowship).