• March 8, 2012
  • #7789

Joni shares the dangers of pride and the reasons we should accept our limitations.

I want to ask you something: are you a candidate for pride? 

I'm Joni Eareckson Tada and I know I sure am. I'm not stupid. Hey, I’ve written books and I’ve played my role in a movie, I’ve had chances to travel around the world and speak to lots of people, I’ve been to the White House and I’ve met some incredible folks like Billy Graham – I am a prime candidate for being puffed up with self-importance. And just knowing that… just knowing that I'm capable of big-time pride and puffed uped-nesss ... well, it’s my first best defense against actual pride. Because 1 Corinthians 10:12 warns us, “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!” 

We get ourselves in trouble when we start believing our own press releases. We’re in trouble when we start hanging up big fancy awards all over the walls in our thinking… this person likes me; that person likes me... this person admires me… so does that one… You know,when we start relishing in the admiration of others we get into trouble when we start looking for the flattering remark or looking for the compliment, expecting kind words and feel miffed when it doesn’t come. 

And here’s the trouble – when we get the idea those thoughts aren't all that offensive to God, then you know your mind has been soaked... it has been pickled by the world and it doesn't even recognize pride as pride. We feel God overlooks it and chalks it up as part of our “being human.” After all, God knows our frame and He remembers that we are but dust; He understands our shortcomings. But uh-uh… that’s one thing God will not tolerate. He hates it. He will not share his glory with another. And He certainly won’t get you over the hump with a little more grace until such time as you finally do humble yourself before Him. God does not put up with the proud. 

In fact, in James chapter 4, it says that He opposes the proud – some translations say that He is against the proud and even resists them. I kind of like the way the Living Bible puts it there in James 4, it says that God sets Himself against those who get all “smug and self-reliant, believing they are the big hoo-hahs.” Oh, dear! If you are one looking for compliments or thinking that you’re doing okay, you are thinking you're doing just fine without praying regularly or getting into the Word on a daily basis… if that is you, please know that God opposes you – and He only gives grace to those who are fast to admit, “Yep, that’s me. That’s the way I am. And I'm capable of a lot more than just pride…”

I have learned – no, I am still learning that lesson. It's why I'm so grateful for my wheelchair – it is my constant reminder of how desperately I need the Lord, of how I am NOTHING without Him, of how quickly I would fall were it not for His grace. Oh, God, I need your favor; oh, Lord, I need your strength every morning when I wake up and face this wheelchair.

Friend, today, thank God for your limitations, your “wheelchair,” whatever it might be. Boast in your weaknesses… delight in your limitations… for they are the very things that can keep you from smug self-importance or thinking that you are a big hoo-hah, you know, independent self-reliant. And then would you join me today in following the rest of the advice in James chapter 4. Submit yourself to God and draw near to Him; purify your heart and humble yourself before the Lord so He can lift you up.  Don’t believe everything your best friends say about you… rather believe the Word of God when it says that He only gives grace to the humble. This is Joni Eareckson Tada for Joni and Friends.

Previously aired as program #7099 on 7/16/09.

© Joni and Friends

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