The Minefields of Self-Pride

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.

    Paul Chong

Be A Steward Not An Owner

Be a Steward Not an Owner

4634bannersichuan_2God’s Gift- Sichuan A Land of Abundant Beauty

“Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.

– Matthew 10:39

Human beings have a tendency to go through life accumulating things. Often enough we find those possessions not entirely needed or used. As a matter of fact, we become possessed by the possessions we possess. This may sound ridiculous but the fact holds true when we look at them perspectively. We are worried and constantly plagued by the fear if things get lost, damaged, or stolen; insurance, security and a host of others. In a word, we are not free of our possessions. Remember the time when we care for the precious car more than our wife and family.

Sometime or other, we are each a victim of burglary or theft, and house break-in. The fear of safety and security with our house keeps us from the peace of mind when going on vacation. Even our pet and garden present themselves as hindrances from going away on holidays. Can we ever enjoy life free from worries and care?

It is by the grace of God that things come to our possession. We are at best custodians or stewards. We come into this world naked and empty-handed, and when we finally leave it all possessions are left behind. We can’t take them with us, be it money or things.In 1 Peter 4:10, it is advocated that: “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”

As with things, so it is with our lives. But when we surrender ourselves to God together with our possessions, He would then bless us back manifold in return. To gain life we must first lose it along with our possessions. Place all trust and faith in Him. Let Him be the worrier and rid us of all fears and worries.

God wants to bless us abundantly. But we must let Him do it in His way and not our way. Until and unless we understand this principle, life will always be one of futility and vanity.

You need to stretch out your hands & unclench your fists before you can receive.

  • Paul Chong