• Topic > Life Struggles > Pride >

    It’s not where you are, but who you are

    It’s possible to be behind bars, but still experience freedom. And it’s also possible to not be an inmate at a prison, yet still be enslaved by sin. It’s not where you are but who you are. Today on “Discover the Word,” the group, and special guest Karen Swanson, talks about how pride can hold us in a prison of our own making while humility can set us free. Join the group today on “Discover the Word”!

    “Prison religion”

    When an inmate “gets religion” to help his or her chances for parole, what they have is often called “prison religion,” where post-release Jesus gets left behind. Today on “Discover the Word,” the group, and Institute for Prison Ministries director Karen Swanson, talks about “prison religion” and also wants to know, when your circumstances change for the better, where is Jesus in your life? “Discover the Word” today!

    Shallow and Profound

    Beware of allowing yourself to think that the shallow aspects of life are not ordained by God; they are ordained by Him equally as much as the profound. We sometimes refuse to be shallow, not out of our deep devotion to God but because we wish to impress other people with the fact that we are not shallow. This is a sure sign of spiritual pride. We must be careful, for this is how contempt for others is produced in our lives. And it causes us to be a walking rebuke to other people because they are more shallow than we are. Beware of posing as a profound person— God became a baby.

    When Serving Brought Out the Worst in Me

    Growing up in church, I was actively involved in church activities at a young age. As a youth, I served as a Sunday school teacher as well as a musician in the worship team. From a young age, I knew that God had blessed me with gifts so that I could bless others.

    Stuck in your own “shame fest”

    Ever been to a “shame fest” where you get stuck focusing on your regrets, mistakes, and disappointments? Today on Discover the Word, the group shares a candid conversation on their personal experiences with pity parties and how to decline those invitations. “The Beauty of Broken”—be listening today on Discover the Word!

    The Doorway to the Kingdom

    Beware of thinking of our Lord as only a teacher. If Jesus Christ is only a teacher, then all He can do is frustrate me by setting a standard before me I cannot attain. What is the point of presenting me with such a lofty ideal if I cannot possibly come close to reaching it? I would be happier if I never knew it. What good is there in telling me to be what I can never be— to be “pure in heart” (Matthew 5:8), to do more than my duty, or to be completely devoted to God? I must know Jesus Christ as my Savior before His teaching has any meaning for me other than that of a lofty ideal which only leads to despair.

    The Strictest Discipline

    Jesus did not say that everyone must cut off his right hand, but that “if your right hand causes you to sin” in your walk with Him, then it is better to “cut it off.” There are many things that are perfectly legitimate, but if you are going to concentrate on God you cannot do them. Your right hand is one of the best things you have, but Jesus says that if it hinders you in following His precepts, then “cut it off.” The principle taught here is the strictest discipline or lesson that ever hit humankind.

    Getting There (2)

    They said to Him, ’Rabbi . . . where are You staying?’ He said to them, ’Come and see’ —John 1:38-39

    Where our self-interest sleeps and the real interest is awakened. “They . . . remained with Him that day . . . .” That is about…

    The Warning Against Desiring Spiritual Success

    Worldliness is not the trap that most endangers us as Christian workers; nor is it sin. The trap we fall into is extravagantly desiring spiritual success; that is, success measured by, and patterned after, the form set by this religious age in which we now live. Never seek after anything other than the approval of God, and always be willing to go “outside the camp, bearing His reproach” (Hebrews 13:13). In Luke 10:20  , Jesus told the disciples not to rejoice in successful service, and yet this seems to be the one thing in which most of us do rejoice.

    Beware of the Least Likely Temptation

    Joab withstood the greatest test of his life, remaining absolutely loyal to David by not turning to follow after the fascinating and ambitious Absalom. Yet toward the end of his life he turned to follow after the weak and cowardly Adonijah. Always remain alert to the fact that where one person has turned back is exactly where anyone may be tempted to turn back (see 1 Corinthians 10:11-13). You may have just victoriously gone through a great crisis, but now be alert about the things that may appear to be the least likely to tempt you. Beware of thinking that the areas of your life where you have experienced victory in the past are now the least likely to cause you to stumble and fall.

    When I Died to Myself At Work

    Several weeks ago, my church mate commented about the attitude of an intern working in her organization. Whenever he did not know how to do something, she said, he would keep quiet instead of seeking help, or say that it could not be done.

    Total Surrender

    Our Lord replies to this statement of Peter by saying that this surrender is “for My sake and the gospel’s” (10:29). It was not for the purpose of what the disciples themselves would get out of it. Beware of surrender that is motivated by personal benefits that may result. For example, “I’m going to give myself to God because I want to be delivered from sin, because I want to be made holy.” Being delivered from sin and being made holy are the result of being right with God, but surrender resulting from this kind of thinking is certainly not the true nature of Christianity. Our motive for surrender should not be for any personal gain at all. We have become so self-centered that we go to God only for something from Him, and not for God Himself.

    The Surrendered Life

    To become one with Jesus Christ, a person must be willing not only to give up sin, but also to surrender his whole way of looking at things. Being born again by the Spirit of God means that we must first be willing to let go before we can grasp something else. The first thing we must surrender is all of our pretense or deceit. What our Lord wants us to present to Him is not our goodness, honesty, or our efforts to do better, but real solid sin. Actually, that is all He can take from us. And what He gives us in exchange for our sin is real solid righteousness.

    pride and prejudice

    Sadly, all of us—even the best of us—have prejudices. I was shocked to one day realize my own prejudice against a Christian denomination. I’d been deeply hurt by people in it, and any time the denomination’s name came up, words like “Pharisees,” “legalists,” and “unloving” came to mind. I basically thought, Can anything good come from that denomination?

    Pride at the Core

    “He thinks he’s really something!” That was my friend’s assessment of a fellow Christian we knew. We thought we saw in him a spirit of pride. We were saddened when we learned that he soon was caught in some serious misdeeds. By elevating himself, he had found nothing but trouble. We realized that could happen to us as well.

    It can be easy to minimize the terrible sin of pride in our own hearts. The more we learn and the more success we enjoy, the more likely we are to think we’re “really something.” Pride is at the core of our…