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I think it's safe to say that most sin stems from pride. It's an independent spirit that wants to do its own thing without any authority or direction from anyone else.
The truth is, in Proverbs 6:16-19, God lists seven things He hates—and one of those things is pride. So how can we refuse to let pride take root in our lives?
The only way to uproot pride is humility—freedom from pride and arrogance, a modest estimation of your own worth. It doesn't mean you think lowly of yourself, but it means you are very careful not to think more highly of yourself than you ought to.
In Matthew 11:29, Jesus says, Learn of me for I am humble. He then goes on to describe Himself as gentle, meek and lowly. I just think all of those character traits are so beautiful.
On the other hand, a spirit of pride is often harsh, hard, sharp and pressing. I just hate to be around those kinds of people. You can never please them, and enough is never enough.
I used to be one of those people, until God began to show me the deep roots pride can take.
He taught me characteristics of how to live a life of humility.
A humble person is quick to forgive, difficult to offend and joyfully waits on vindication from God. If someone is mistreating you, the best thing you can do is forgive them and be friendly. I'm not suggesting you let people walk all over you. But we need to do our part and trust that God will right the wrongs.
Maybe somebody at work lied about you and got the promotion you thought should have been yours. Then you hear their car is broken down, and they're taking the bus to work. A proud person would find joy in the other person's misfortune. A humble person would give them a ride to work—even if it's out of their way.
God allows me to participate in some phenomenal things around the world, but I can honestly tell you I've trained myself to not think about them too much because that's the stuff that gets you in trouble.
For example, when we were in Zimbabwe, we had a really successful Festival of Life conference. But God didn't do it because of me; He did it to help the people. I don't sit in my chair and go, "Oh, remember that crowd? Whew, Jesus, what an altar call!"
You can't do that. If you do, then you are opening your mind to pride. Every time God lets you participate in something great you need to simply say, "Thank You, God, that You let me have anything to do with it. I know it's not me—it's You!"
Don't be in too big of a hurry to be in the limelight somewhere, to have your name on the office door at work or to have somebody call you the boss or the leader. God will choose who He puts where, and if He puts you there, then be humble about it and do what He asks you to do.
Even if He asks you to clean the toilet, then be just as happy to do that. You're not going to be rewarded for whether you did what the world would call a great thing. Your reward is going to come because you obeyed God and were willing to do what He asked you to do.
Humility and patience are probably two of the hardest virtues to come by. But the truth is, all impatience is a manifestation of pride. If I can't stand to wait on that promotion or
wait for anything, it's because I think I am too important to wait, and I should be getting what I want right away.
I once read this statement: "It is yet to be seen what God could do through a man or woman who would give Him all the glory."
To truly live a confident, humble life, you'll need to remember where your abilities come from. The more talented you are, the more humble you should become. It should amaze you that God would put those gifts in you. It should amaze you that God would enable you to do anything. It's only with that attitude that God's glory can be fully shown through your life.