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Dear Church,

Who was Jesus most critical of while on earth? It wasn’t the “sinners” who flocked to him; in fact, he was called a “friend of sinners”.  Instead, it was the people who were filled with spiritual pride. The Pharisees and the teachers of the law were his worst enemies. They were confident that they were God’s ‘chosen’; they thought that they had God, the Bible, and godly life all figured out, and they became mean, condescending, and even bullied people who disagreed with them. Spiritual pride is the most subtle and vicious sin that spreads through our lives, leading to self-focus and superiority over others. In John 8, we see that the teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought a woman who was caught having sex with a man who wasn’t her husband.  Jesus does tell her to sin no more, but he does this only after addressing the spiritual pride of those who brought the women to him.  He said, “Let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” and then he stooped down and wrote in the dust. One by one, they slipped away, beginning with the oldest.

What is the best way to find out if we have spiritual pride? If you think you are one of those people who will “never deal with spiritual pride,” then probably you have spiritual pride. If you and I spend the majority of our day thinking about what we want, what we don’t want, what we need to make us happy, and focus less on the well-being of people God put in our life, then we have spiritual pride.  Another way to find out is to answer the question:  What is the focus of your joy, security, and contentment in my life?  If the answer is the world rather than God, then we have spiritual pride. One of the clearest litmus tests is answering the question:  Whose sin and holiness are we focused upon?  If the answer is ‘others’ rather than ‘mine’, then we are in bondage to spiritual pride.

Today, let us allow the Holy Spirit into our areas of pride. One of the last strongholds of the ‘flesh’ is spiritual pride, and the danger is that spiritual pride disguises itself as an angel of light, like the devil. It rampantly floats in churches. Only being at our Lord’s feet removes this from our hearts.

Be Encouraged,
Mathews

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