The Minefields of Self-Pride
“You may say to yourself, ‘My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.’” ~ Deuteronomy 8:17
Walter Hancock – Fallen Boxer 1934
The danger of forever crediting yourself with your success is ever present. The popular phrase of being “a self-made man” leads only to conceit, pride and eventually to one’s downfall. We have heard stories of tall poppy syndrome, rich and powerful men crashing to nothingness. It’s alright to work hard and smart through sweat and tears to achieve success, provided we avoid the pitfall of claiming it all to our own self-reliance, disregarding the grace and mercy of God which made all things possible. The American philosophy of emphasising that winning is everything runs against the grain of giving due credit to God. They say that you are either a winner or a loser. There’s no second place in life, or as in the Olympics; sportsmen resort to steroids and all forms of drugs to achieve success. Our own sportsmen and women are not exempted in their similar quest for success.
Do we really deserve our individual rights and privileges and all the entitlements that accompany success? “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me”- such thought and attribute only lead to the grave danger of eventual failure. We are but custodians or stewards of the wealth that God deems fit to bestow upon us. He gives and He can also easily take it all back.
To continue in His grace and mercy is to accord God that honour and due praise.
Avoid the danger of developing secular legalism as believers. All that is required of us is to remain faithful, to love God as He loves you and to get to know Him. The notion of being grateful seems to have been thrown out of this world. We are so used to taking without wanting to give that a “grabbing syndrome” is prevalent, particularly in the capitalist world.
Our pride will prevent us from experiencing God’s grace and mercy. Our cold cold hearts must warm vertically towards Him above, and horizontally reaching out to others with feelings of graciousness, generosity, kindness and care. Humbleness is more welcome than haughtiness. Let God continue to shower you with blessings to accomplish whatever you pursue. It’s through His grace and not our work that accomplishment is realised.