Mark 14:29 (erv)
Peter said, “All the other followers may lose their faith. But my faith will never be shaken.”
Pride is a funny thing; it convinces us that we’re different or unique. It’s the little voice that tells us we would never do that, or say that. It’s the thing that makes our eyes look down on someone instead of across at them. Pride tells us that someone’s choices, viewpoint, perspective, perception, and mindset are what caused that terrible thing – but that would never happen to us. We’re better than that, stronger than that, more educated, more disciplined.
The night before Jesus died on the cross, He talked with Peter about what would happen next. Peter knew Jesus. He’d seen Jesus perform tons of miracles. He watched Jesus feed 5,000 people with 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread (Matthew 14:15-21). He walked on water when Jesus commanded it (Matthew 14:29). He said that he believed Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of the living God (Matthew 16:16). Logic tells us that Peter should have know better than to question what Jesus said was true. But against pride, logic doesn’t stand a chance.
The night of Jesus’ death isn’t the first time that Peter calls His foresight into question. Just after he tells Jesus that he does in fact believe He is the Messiah in Matthew, he pulls Him aside to criticize His statement about His upcoming death. We see that Jesus’ response to that conversation wasn’t exactly encouraging. Then Jesus said to Peter, “Get away from me, Satan! You are not helping me! You don’t care about the same things God does. You care only about things that people think are important” (Matthew 6:23 ERV).
Can you imagine being called Satan by Jesus? It seems like it would be a life-changing moment, but just a short time later, Peter is right back at it. Pride keeps us from learning from our mistakes. So, we continue to judge, and assume that we know better, that we’d do better, that we are better.
One of the most common arguments that I’ve heard about the introduction of sin into the world is: “I would have chosen differently. I wouldn’t have eaten the apple.” Pride; the same thing that causes us to say:
“I wouldn’t have used those drugs.”
“I would never let my kid behave like that.”
“I’ll never get divorced.”
“My life will never look that way.”
Pride tells us we’re special, and that’s true. But it’s not because of our actions or our abilities to make better, smarter choices than the people around us. It’s because God says we’re special. Believing that anything makes us more special, loved, or important than anyone else is only pride.
Peter and many others show us that pride is a sin that can and will take us all off course from time to time. If the same man who walked on water with Jesus still struggled with his pride, it’s pretty safe to say that we all will. But that’s not meant to discourage us. In fact, quite the opposite. Jesus uses our pride to make us humble.
As soon as Peter said this, the rooster crowed the second time. Then he remembered what Jesus had told him: “Before the rooster crows twice, you will say three times that you don’t know me.” Then Peter began to cry (Mark 14:72 ERV).
Humility is what we need in order to put God first. It allows us to seek His will instead of our own. It gives us the opportunity to stop judging and start listening. It reminds us to spread love instead of hate. It’s the antidote for pride.
Jesus forgives us for our prideful thoughts, and all our actions that are fueled by them. His transforming grace slowly chips away at our pride and brings us closer and closer to who we were created to be. It doesn’t happen overnight, and like Peter, we’ll probably always battle some degree of pridefulness on this side of Heaven, but God has a process for our progress.
What areas do you exhibit pride instead of humility? Spend some time trying to identify where pride may have taken deep root in your life and create a list.
For God’s transforming Grace to work in the areas you listed in your journal.
Tips & Tools
The recipe should create 15 energy bites. Each bite contains about 68 calories. I opted to have 3 bites with a 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt.
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