April 8, 2010

Hellish Hubris

Written by Boyd Bailey

Hellish Hubris… “When you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God… You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth…” Deuteronomy 8:12b-14b, 17-18a

There is a hellish hubris that seeks to convince my soul that it is superior to other saints and certainly to other sinners. Hubris is that attitude of arrogance that lures an individual to forget the Lord and take credit for their success. At the very least Christ may be compartmentalized for Sunday Services and then ignored the other six days of the week.

How do we get to the point that we believe the devil’s promise for self appointed power? Listen to how he attempted to persuade Jesus with an attractive offer: “Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me” (Matthew 4:8-9). We suffer from hubris when we worship anything else above Christ.

You ask, “But isn’t my hard work important for success?” Yes, indeed. “And don’t I need to apply my skills and intelligence toward progress and production?” Yes. To not do so would be irresponsible, but to forget the Lord along the way is treason against your trust in Jesus. Indeed the flesh forgets God in the good times and blames God in the bad times.

The remedy for hellish hubris is heavenly humility. It is an attitude that is wholly dependent on the Lord and that keeps us accountable to give Him the glory for our success. Others see your generosity on behalf of Jesus and they grow to understand your motivation for making money is to further the Kingdom of God, not to expand your kingdom on earth. Humility extinguishes hubris and replaces it with Christ-centeredness.

Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.” Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him” (Matthew 4:10-11).

How do I proactively protect against hubris in my heart? Who do I need to prayerfully confront who is ensnared by arrogance?

Related Readings: Acts 5:1-10; 6:8-15; 8:18-25; 12:20-25

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