Today is something I think we all need to hear! If you are new to this study, we are currently in a 13-day daily devotional on Romans 12. I would encourage you to join us and go back through the first seven days! Today, though, is a direct shot at an epidemic in the Christian world. Paul is targeting our pride in verse 16. That is what being haughty means. He wants us to have a right view of ourselves, and allow that to promote healthy harmony in the church.
Why do you think there is so much disharmony, debating, arguing, and disagreement within the Christian Church? I believe there are many reasons, but pride is at the top of the list. If we start today’s discussion with the last part of verse 16, I think that we see Paul’s focus for the verse. “Never be wise in your own sight.” Thirteen verses before this, in Romans 12:3, Paul tells this same audience to not think of themselves more highly than they ought to. Why the repetitive message? Paul tells them twice in a short span because this is important! We clearly have an issue with how we see and think of ourselves.
We never quite have an accurate view of our own heart. Sure, we can easily see everyone else’s faults, but we have a hard time seeing our own. There was a season in my own life when I felt like my faith was growing like a weed. I thought I was on a different level than most. Other people’ s lack of faith and mistakes would almost annoy me. Guess what happened? I was humbled. I was given a clear view of my own filth. We all need that. If we would stop being “wise in our own sight,” we would stop judging people. We would stop with the disharmony and debating. We would start associating with the lowly, just like Paul commands us.
I think the “do not be haughty” command is more than just a faith issue. Although I believe that Paul would like to smack us around a bit when we think that we have all the answers and that other people need to get to our faith level, I think it also applies to all areas of life. Do you find yourself to be pretty well off? Does that hinder who you hang out with? Does your popularity or your image impact who you associate with? If so, that is pride. That is being haughty. True Christians associate with the lowly. They don’t care about the “status” of themselves or of who they spend time with. Christians see that everyone is equal: lost and hopeless outside of God’s forgiveness and love. What in the world, then, do we have to be prideful about?
Let me wrap up by just saying that if we could keep our pride in check, we would start living in harmony. That is exactly how Christians should live together. Let’s get past all the debates and disagreements and focus on the gospel. After all, our pride should crumble when we look at the cross. Suddenly, we start to see that our faith isn’t “better” than someone else’s faith. We quickly stop judging other people for where they are in life. Graciously, we stop patting ourselves on the back and thinking that we are the spiritual elite. Hallelujah!
Our pride should crumble when we look at the cross.
We are not called to think highly of ourselves. We are called to think highly of God. When that happens, our pride is shattered. When that happens, we will start living in harmony with each other. Amen. Join us right back here tomorrow for verse 17!
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- Where do you see pride showing up in your life?
- Who do you have in your life that can point out your blind spots and hold you accountable to keep you humble?