John 3:30 –
He must become greater; I must become less.”
This morning we are talking about pride and humility
Pride can manifest itself in different ways
Maybe you’re sitting here and you’re thinking: – how could I ever be proud?’ I actually have such a low opinion of myself, I’m a broken person, I’m a failure in life.
The problem is pride as I said manifests itself in different ways. On the low-end of the pride spectrum is the dropout, the person who considers themselves a failure – they are filled with pride!!
Ask me why?
David Legg said – ‘It is not just the pharisee with his nose in the air that is proud, but its the sinner who will not embrace the grace of God, because they feel they are not worthy.’
Now you may say – But what about the pharisee and the tax collector in the bible, the tax collector wasn’t prideful but he was broken and didn’t think much of himself? And that is partly true but lets look at his words-
Luke 18:13 (read scripture)- He asked God to have mercy on him. He was willing to let God in.
When we refuse to let God deal with our issues, we are being prideful cause we are either say- I can handle this’ (Which of course is nonsense), or ‘I’m not worthy to let God deal with me’ Which again is nonsense because God sent His one and only Son to die in our place, thats actually how worthy God views us.
The main problem of pride is that its all about us – WE are brilliant or WE are not worthy.
In the Scripture we first read in Luke 3:30 John the Baptist says ‘He must increase, I must decrease Lord’
Basically John the Baptist is saying -Its less about me and more about Him
We are in a world where everything is designed to keep ourselves as the main focus of the universe. And now we have the ‘selfie’ epidemic – See what I mean?
We are brought up to believe the world revolves around us. The Tv tells us, the magazines tell us, its all about us. It’s about what we want, need. Its our RIGHTS! We have a right to whatever we want and we have a right to be able to do whatever we want, when we want.
All of that is pride.
CS Lewis said – Pride is the sin that made the devil, the devil!
Thats deep. But its true. The devil wanted to be the centre of the universe, he didn’t want God to be it.
John the baptist was an example of humility. He knew that Jesus needed to be greater than anything else in all the world including himself and his little own world.
Jesus MUST increase and we MUST decrease.
What does that even mean?
In greek – He must- literally translated means ‘It is necessary’
Necessary means – Needed to be done, achieved, or ESSENTIAL
Increase literally translated means: to make to grow
It is essential that we make Jesus grow in our lives.
And Decrease literally translated means: to make less, in rank or influence
Its not about me!! We need to lessen our own influence and increase Jesus’ influence on our lives AND on the lives of other people.
How do we do this?
We let Jesus in! Thats it, its simple, we let him deal with us. We learn from Him, He is the ultimate role model of humility. Because He was with God in heaven and he chose to step down and because a baby, who could do nothing for themselves at first and had to be looked after by mere mortals!
Jesus through His life constantly pointed people not even to himself but to God. Thats humility. Not only did he step down into humanity, he pointed people to God rather than himself AND then he laid his life down for people who didn’t even realise they had done anything wrong and didn’t care if if they did know.
Jesus has to be above everything in our lives.
Earlier on I mentioned that when we don’t let Jesus in to deal with our issues we are being prideful, but I left out a reason we give sometimes for not letting Jesus in-
It’s too painful for me! Who is the centre of attention in that phrase? Its us again!!!
Jesus needs to be above the pain of our issues. and this is hard to learn. Jesus knew that God was above the pain of the crucifixion. Jesus made himself so low he went through the pain of crucifixion so that one day we will be raised to new life.
When we let Jesus deal with our painful issues we are being humble. Because one day we will be able to lift someone else with those same problems to Jesus and lifting someone else up means we ourselves are lowered.
Ask Jesus to deal with any pride in you. If you do spot pride in you, repent. Ask God to take it away – but be prepared for when He does… they are called pride busters for a reason!!