After placing faith in Christ, Christians should begin this process called sanctification. Sanctification is turning away from sinful acts, sinful thoughts, sinful behaviors, and sinful philosophies and conforming to the image of Christ. Contrary to popular belief, being a Christian does not make me perfect. From experience, it makes me more aware of my sinfulness. God is gracious as He sanctifies me. He does not simply change me in one magic swoop. Like a plant, He lets me grow and then prunes away the things in my life that are contrary to His image. So, that all the good in me serves as a reflection of Him. Currently, God is opening up my eyes to the perils of pride. He has done so by showing me, pride in my heart, but also how pride is the greatest enemy of God.
I could take my pride issues lightly. I could call it confidence or swagger. I could protect the pride in my heart with persuasive arguments and lofty language. I could simply ignore it. These are not options for me because I love Jesus. I do not love Him in a “cultural Christianity” sort of way. I do not love Him in a “condemn the nonbelievers” sort of way. I, also, do not love Him in an “everything is permissible because Jesus loves you” sort of way. I love Jesus, in a way that shapes how I treat all people. I love Jesus in a way where, I seek genuine relationships with other people. I love Jesus in a way where my heart desires to please Him. I love Jesus in a way that makes my sin personally offensive. More importantly, covering up my pride is not an option because He loves me. A good father does not allow his child to carry on in bad behaviors. He disciplines them, in love. My desire to rid myself of pride is simply a response to His love for me. He loves me well.
See in this sanctification process, God has peeled back facades of humility. My mouth tells me people over things. I have put people over money. I do not put people over prestige or a title. This was clearly seen two weeks ago, when my pride offended a dear friend of mine.
So, if pride is the greatest stench to the face of God. Humility must be the most pleasing aroma. How does one acquire such a humility? I could direct you to the book of Proverbs. However, most verses tell you the effects of living humbly. Rather, let us move to Philippians 2, where we see the greatest display of humility displayed in God the Son.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit [PRIDE]. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage.
Rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Even, now I see this with new eyes. Pride is rooted in self-interest. Humility is rooted in sacrifice. Christ’s redemptive work on the cross was no benefit to Himself. He had done nothing. Christ looked to the interest of humanity and humbled Himself. He became a man. He was a servant. He died. His death was humiliating. Notice though, that Christ’s humility let to His exultation. Satan’s pride led to His demise.
What does that mean for Tosin? Well, it means that my life is no about me. My job, my schooling, my dancing, my love for the church, my family, my opinions, my words are not about how I can move up in the world or how popular I can become or how much attention I can garner. It means that, I need to seek means and opportunities to lift the interests of others higher than my own. This means, my interest in having a relationship with a specific person is not as important as his interests. My interest in having a title, is not as important as honoring friendship and people in leadership. My interest in being “right” is not as important as being holy. My interests are not as important as God’s because His ways are higher than mine, and His thoughts are higher than mine.
Pride is my enemy. So, I am seeking humility as a friend.