Well it happened again. I found myself convicted of spiritual pride. Pride catches us by surprise so often. And it comes up just as soon as we think we’re being humble. Humility is the slippery virtue – once you think you have it, it’s gone.
Here’s what happened. I read a FB post by someone who has no contact with church, other than she knows people who go to a church and has relatives who are members of a church. She and her husband are living in such a way that it never enters their minds what Jesus wants in their lives. At least that’s how it appears.
But here’s the thing, this person asked for prayer for some mess in her life. And my immediate thought was, “How can she ask people to pray for this mess in her life that is probably due to her own bad choices when she doesn’t seem to care about God? And now when bad things happen, she expects God to jump to it and fix it!” Then I realized how smug I was being. My thought process suggested something I know isn’t true – namely that I deserve to have God hear my prayers but she doesn’t! I know that is not true but that is at the core of my way of thinking.
I was upset with myself for falling into this prideful way of thinking. I had been thinking like the Pharisee in Jesus parable in Luke 18:9-14. The Pharisee said, “God I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even this tax collector (or even this woman on Facebook!).” I was being like that Pharisee. I should be praying like the tax collector in the parable, “God be merciful to me a sinner.” And then I should’ve prayed for that woman. And I should keep in mind none of us “deserve” to have God hear our prayers. He hears them because of His goodness and His grace.
C.S. Lewis said this about pride: “There is one vice of which no man in the world is free; which every one in the world loathes when he sees it in someone else; and of which hardly any people, except Christians, ever imagine that they are guilty themselves.” Join me in being on the lookout for this subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) sin which creeps into our thinking.