For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.
What is your standard of a successful life? How does your heart measure such success? What are the basic values you pursue to make your dreams come true?
John wrote his letter to the Church warning them of placing their ladder on the wrong wall. How many of us have learned the hard way? We pursue certain goals built on values we believe are good only to find out many years later how empty and unfulfilling the achievement felt. Looking back, we realize only then that our climb up the ladder may have been fun but eventually ended up on the wrong side of the building. Instead of climbing the north wall, we found ourselves on the opposite side looking across the vast emptiness of space wondering where did we go wrong.
The pride of life blinds many of us from eternal truths and values which produce the more abundant life that we all desire but seem to escape us through the jungle of everyday decisions.
What is the pride of life?
A simple answer is everything and anything which places more importance on the things of this world rather than the eternal habitat God created for you to experience.
God is the author of GOOD. And many of the items we pursue are by themselves good. But our inability to manage them leads to paths of destruction and pain for ourselves and others.
For example, water is a good element. We all need water to survive. We use water as a healthy liquid to drink. We use water to bathe and clean ourselves. And we use water to cook. We even swim in water for relaxation or exercise. But we can also drown ourselves in water. Hold your head underwater for a length of time and you will run out of oxygen and drown.
This is what happens when we wrap our hearts around what makes us feel important. Our status, career, and achievements are only a few of the measuring marks our culture emphasizes as important. Do you?
The pride of life consists of the values this world emphasizes as important at the detriment of leaving Father God out of the picture.
Fame, winning, and academic success are a few more values the world glorifies. Sometimes the world counterfeits God’s concerns but their methods and ways are anti-God. One example is social justice. The human heart has a natural tendency to classify, segregate, and exclude whoever the power base decides is important or unimportant.
At the same time, the culture with an ungodly center, has a tendency to group people together and treat all of them the same rather than individuals. Whereas God looks at each individual’s heart to evaluate their behavior and the action required for justice to be measured, the ungodly establishment seek to punish the entire group for the infraction of one.
When God is not the center of life, the human spirit becomes empowered with pride which blinds the person from separating fantasy from reality and eventually leads toward harming those around them.
Pride is the downfall of many who have a high opinion of themselves. The sad truth is they rarely suffer alone. They normally take along all those who have followed them through the maze. From Lucifer whose pride turned him into Satan, and from many of the dictators, politicians, cult leaders, and business mavericks, pride has led to the destruction of many. The opposite of pride is humility. Humility is God’s path toward learning to walk together in community. Humility places God in the center of every relationship, decision, and plan we make. We acknowledge HIS presence; respect HIS authority in our life; and work to restore HIS values into everyday living. Without God, pride rules. With God, humility leads. Which way will you choose?
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