“You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!”….(Mark 7:9).
Yesterday, as I was meeting with my senior pastor I shared with him how I was struggling with prideful thoughts that were trying to cause disunity among myself and some other brothers and sisters in Christ. I told him, “I keep having these thoughts trying to crowd their way into my heart and mind towards others. They’re critical thoughts, because in my pride, their not like me and that bothers me.”
As I confessed this reality to him I also shared that I’m combating those prideful thoughts by speaking prayers of thanks to my Heavenly Father for those people. I’m asking God to help me see what others, who are different from me, can teach me about God. I’m asking Jesus to help me see them in a new light and not be annoyed by the fact that they’re different from me, but see how I can be blessed by their differences instead.
Satan loves to throw wedges between us and he’ll use our pride to do it. That’s the recipe I find him mixing in me the most. My pride gets served up on a platter and if I’m not careful, I’ll feast upon it and before I know it a wedge of distrust, disunity and disdain rises up in me towards those I really do care about.
The Pharisees dealt with this too and Jesus rebuked them for it. Their desire to hold onto their pride kept them from loving others well. This is one of our biggest issues in the church, not that we don’t have all the right plans and programs, but that we often allow our personal preferences to become sticking points of disunity within the body of Christ, because of our pride. In doing so, we hurt others, shame them and in our own heart and mind categorize them as irresponsible, lazy, or whatever else our pride convinces us to believe. The only way to be free from this is to speak words of praise and thanks. A critical attitude has to die at the feet of praise. Lord, let it be so in me.
Father, forgive us for our sinful and prideful thoughts. Jesus, when I see my brothers and sisters in Christ I want to see them with a Spirit of thankfulness. Lord, thank you that I can rest in your love and that you can change my prideful attitude to one of thanks. Continue to do that in me, I pray, in Jesus name, Amen.