The Path of Blessing

Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” – Luke 18: 9-14.

The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate. – Proverbs 8:13.

In the United Arab Emirates, a license plate has been sold at a charity auction for what is said to be a record fourteen million dollars. What is so special about this license plate? This license plate contains only one numeral, the number “1”. Saeed Khouri explains why he paid so much for the number one plate: “I bought it because it’s the best number. I bought it because I want to be the best in the world.” The money from the auction is going to a good cause to help a rehabilitation center for accident victims.

Pride is a very self-deceiving and dangerous thing as we see with the Pharisee in Luke 18. From the life experience of the Pharisee he knew that he did the things that were expected of him. He fasted, he tithed, he prayed, and he did not extort money from others. The Pharisee also knew that many tax collectors made their living off of extortion. What the Pharisee did not know was that God does not just look at the outward things that we do. No, God also looks at the heart, the inward condition of a person . The Pharisee’s heart was filled with pride that he was the best, that he was so much better than that scum of the earth sinful tax collector. Meanwhile, the tax collector’s heart was filled with repentance, a desire to turn away from his sin recognizing his unworthiness before God.

What does pride do? It robs us of joy because we can never be satisfied with what we have – we will always want more. It robs us of peace because we will always be concerned that someone else will be better, or have more than us. Pride also robs us of the blessings of God. The apostle Peter shares with us an additional problem with pride in 1 Peter 5:5-7, “Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for ‘God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.’ Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” Living with a prideful attitude results in God resisting you, opposing you in all that you do. What a terrible way to live!

You should always strive to live with humility before God and others by your actions and with your heart. Because if you will live your life with humility God will not oppose you, He will not resist you; instead He will exalt you, and lift you up in due time. Living with humility will result in God taking care of you – and you will be given joy, peace, and untold blessings from the hand of God.

(Humility of heart will bring about God’s blessings upon your life. Pride, however, will result in God opposing everything that you do.)

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