By Abel Hernandez
God doesn’t like a prideful heart. Many us from time to time may not fully admit it but we struggle with this exact topic. Pride can get in the way of meaningful relationships and connections. In fact, pride can make you feel like you’re supreme over others. We do this when it comes to “comparison”.
Recently I was reading an example of spiritual comparison. We at times will look around us and gauge our own spirituality by the lack of others. It makes us feel good to know that we walk the walk, read our bibles, and say the right things. As we look around, we easily spot those we feel are lacking true discipleship. This fosters pride and divisions among us and quite frankly God.
But here is the catch, we never know their hearts. Comparison of any kind is so dangerous. Especially spiritual.
Here’s an example.
Let’s say Christian 1 is viewed as a very mellow individual. He appears to know the word of God and is always calm. Especially in the eye of conflict. Always seems to say the right thing. Doesn’t overspend his money, and dresses appropriately (According to our standards).
Then there is Christian 2. This individual is still a hot head. They often do things and say things they regret. They drop the occasional F bomb, dress like the world, and doesn’t manage their finances well. Conflict brings out the worst in them.
From the outside, you would think Christian 1 is walking the walk. They are a true convert. They’re more spiritual and therefore, closer to God. But here is the catch. We don’t know their hearts, stories, or backgrounds. Christian 1 has always been like this. In fact, since his conversion, he has grown very little. He was raised in a good home with a strong support system.
Christian 2 has had a rough life. They were raised in a drug and gang infested area. They had no family structure and had to fight for survival regularly. They were introduced to rejection, abuse, and violence at a very young age. If we all knew their story, we would see how far they have come. In fact, we would see miles and miles of growth. They have turned their life around and continue do so till today.
If we were to look for an example of what it means to become a believer and turn from your evil ways, we would see a picture of Christian 2 and not Christian 1. You see Christian 2 realizes when he messes up. He apologizes now. He looks for help. Asks for forgiveness, and focuses on growing every day. This world is new to them. It’s foreign. They welcome accountability because they in fact want to grow.
But he faces a big problem… People who are so called believers, discard him. They compare themselves to him and believe they are better and truly saved. Little do they know that this individual has truly been given a heart of flesh and is growing in their salvation. Let’s leave the judging to God and focus on ourselves. Let’s get rid of pride so we don’t harm others, ourselves, and our relationship with God. Let’s not spread lies since we don’t know their full story. Let’s love one another as God has called us to.
Proverbs 6:16-19 New International Version (NIV)
16 There are six things the Lord hates,
seven that are detestable to him:
17 haughty eyes,
a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,
18 a heart that devises wicked schemes,
feet that are quick to rush into evil,
19 a false witness who pours out lies
and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 New International Version (NIV)
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
13 To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.
10 Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.
1 Peter 2:2 New International Version (NIV)
2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation.