Healing Within the Body of Christ
"By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another"
Scripture says, "God resists, or opposes, the proud but gives grace to the humble"
Pride is a killer! It is one of the subtlest tools of the enemy. God actually resists the proud! Who would want to be opposed by God!
Yet in the church we often do find pride, but it wears a different cloak than it does out in the world. In Christian circles we know that pride in our position and possessions are not a Godly thing. We scorn openly the pursuit of "fame and fortune" alone. Yet pride exists in our hearts and in our churches in two prominent ways that we often try to justify.
There is often pride in standing for a "principle of righteousness" while walking away from reconciliation. Making such a stand is not wrong in itself; however it is often accompanied by a lack of grace and a spiritual superiority that cuts off the Spirit of God from working in a situation. If you are ever tempted to "stand for righteousness" against another Christian, check if your trademark of love is visible. Make sure your heart is clean in all the secret places and that you have done all you can to live at peace (Romans 12:18). If the basis for your stand is your own pride, be very careful, for God resists the proud.
The second place pride plays a major role in the church is in the area of spiritual gifts. You may have a discerning heart or a prophetic gifting. God may reveal truth to you in a situation. Again, be very careful. God calls us first to prayer and often nothing more. If words are to be spoken God will clearly reveal that, but the first task is to obey the call to prayer. Much damage has been done in the church when someone feels they have received a word from God and simply talks, rather than prays, about it. If you think you sense something, pray, pray, pray and God will reveal if there is anything else He requires. God's whisper in your Spirit will never be in conflict with what He directs in His Word. When we speak in spiritual pride, the Spirit is grieved and we cut off that which God was at work doing in our lives and in the situation (Ephesians 4:29 & 30). The simple question before opening your mouth is...
"Will this lift Jesus higher or will this lift me higher?"
Be slow to speak, especially words that sow negative seeds about another, and be quick to listen.
Father God, show me where I may be harboring spiritual pride within my heart. Help me to be careful to listen to Your gentle nudges when I need to be silent. May I be careful to pray before I speak. I want to lift Jesus up in my church. Help me to guard my tongue as well as my heart. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.
- Can others see your trademark of love?
- How do you handle hurt in your life?
- Does your response lift up Jesus?