Are we living the way we are commanded to live? Or are we giving in to our sinful natures? Do we go about our studies, employment and other daily activities humbly serving the Lord by serving others? Or are we letting the sin of pride dominate our lives?
All of us have to fight the sin of pride all life long. We can so easily elevate ourselves above others when we hear either good or bad news about others. Immediately we can speak words and think thoughts that give in to our sinful natures. “I would never do that,” or “I would have done that differently if you would ask me.” We say such phrases or think such thoughts or hear them from the lips of others. Then we go about our activities without considering that these phrases or thoughts are the result of falling into the sin of pride.
As we consider this, we realize that we have to constantly battle pride. All sin is rooted in pride because our human natures think we are wiser than God. Remember how Satan spoke through the serpent to Eve when he tempted her to partake of the forbidden fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. In Genesis 3:4, 5 we read, “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” This was the serpent’s response to Eve when she tells him they may not eat or touch the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil lest they die. In pride Eve adds to God’s command to them, and this was wrong for her to do. God did not forbid them from touching the tree’s fruit, but he commanded them to not eat it. She then sees that the fruit of the tree was desirable to her eyes, took of it and ate it. She gave the fruit to Adam and he ate of it.
Through this sin of our first parents, the whole human race along with the creation fell under the curse. Think about how dreadful the sin of pride is. Because of sinful pride, a beautiful creation became ugly. Adam and Eve had been created to bear the image of God and now they needed to be covered with clothes to hide the shame their naked bodies displayed as a result of their sin against their God and Creator. They attempted to cover themselves by making aprons out of fig leaves, but God clothed them with coats of skins. Blood had to be shed and animals had to die because of Adam’s sin. Shedding the blood of animals for sacrifice in the Old Testament points towards the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. He is the Lamb of God who willingly sacrificed his life as he died on the cross to pay for this original sin and all the sins of his people.
Meditating on this great truth should cause us to humbly thank God for paying the ultimate price for our sins. We do not deserve this gracious gift of God to us. We deserve to be cast into hell forever. We deserve to spend eternity paying for our sins. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Because Christ suffered the agony of hell and died the death we deserved to die, we will spend eternity in heaven thanking him for our great salvation. He was forsaken as he gave his life for us so that we can enjoy fellowship with God forever. He paid the debt we owed God so that we have the privilege of being taken to heaven when we die. This should always be the reason for our humility.
Our duty to glory in the Lord is a duty we must not take lightly. Through the prophet Jeremiah, God demands of Judah that they glory in him only: “Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord” (Jeremiah 9:23, 24). The apostle Paul refers to the passage in Jeremiah in I Corinthians 1:31, “That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” We are called to glory in the Lord constantly throughout life. We may not take any breaks from this duty. God demands this of all of his people including young people.
As young people of the Church, you must be constantly aware that the battle against the sin of pride is fierce. Throughout the day, you must ask God for strength to fight this battle. You cannot fight this battle alone, for then you will certainly fall into the snare of the devil. Remember this as you wake up in the morning to prepare for the day. Think about this as you attend your classes and thank the Lord for your teachers. As you go to your place of employment, humbly ask the Lord for the strength to please him. In your recreation, seek to do the activities which would glorify his Name. Pray for grace to keep your mind fixed on him. At the end of the day, think about the activities you were engaged in and where you fell short of your calling to glory in the Lord. Then go to God in prayer confessing your sins and asking him for forgiveness.
As you strive to glory in the Lord you will experience the blessing of the Lord. The Lord is pleased when you glory in his name. Seek to please him always. When you are faced with peer pressure to give into pride, pray for the grace to resist this temptation. The more you think about the Lord and the great salvation he has given you, the easier it will be to give him the glory. Encourage each other as fellow saints to honor the Lord at all times. Continue to grow together in the grace and knowledge of the Lord. Use the opportunities he has given you in your home, school, worship services, catechism and society to learn more of him. Trust God for the strength to daily fight the battle of faith and then humbly thank him for the grace he gives you to serve him each day of your life.