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(KJV and NKJV Scripture)

– And their eyes were opened, and Jesus straightly charged them, saying “See that no man knows it.” – Matthew 9:30

– Don’t worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition. – Abraham Lincoln

Would we ever do anything in life – if people never knew we did anything?  What would be the point of living?  What would we really do at our jobs if we couldn’t put it on a resume later?  Would we ever participate in competitive sports where nobody won championships – and no one received awards and trophies?  What would politicians do – if they knew it would never be put on the nightly news?

What’s the harm if we blow our own horns now and then?  Do we sometimes pretend it isn’t a big deal if nobody seems to notice us much?  Does it really not bother us if life starts to feel like we are blending in with the greenery and scenery, as alluded to in “Take the Long Way Home” by Supertramp?”  If we really did live a life of relative obscurity, what might our obituary look like?

Perhaps something similar to this: “John Doe, 85, passed away yesterday.  He never did much.  He will not be missed.”  However, this certain John Doe did thousands of good things in his life.  Although local library books could have been filled by them, pursuing personal praise and public notice wasn’t his earthly purpose.  Just like Jesus, whose deeds would have filled a few more books (John 21:25).

During a Passover feast, some of those around Jesus could not understand why he tried to avoid personal attention as much as possible.  Some of them said to Christ, “Depart, and go into Judea, so your disciples may also see the works you do.  For there is no man who does anything in secret, while he himself seeks to be known openly.  If you do these things, show yourself to the world (John 7:2-4).”

There are similar scenes throughout the four gospels where Christ charged the disciples to keep quiet about things he did, what he said … even about who he was. For example, when Jesus was on the road with them to Caesarea Philippi, he asked, “Whom do men say I am?”  After answers such as John the Baptist and Elijah – Christ charged them they should tell no man of who he was (Mark 8:27-30).

Was Jesus denying he was God’s Son?  In 1901, theologian William Wrede labeled Christ’s seeming quest for confidentiality the “Messianic Secret.” However, Jesus was not trying to keep a secret.  He just did not want to receive the reverence if his identity was revealed.  It did not belong to him. Christ was simply seeking God’s glory.  Speaking about himself wasn’t the way to do it (John 7:18).

The same goes for us.  Job learned a very painful lesson in humility because of his huge “I” problem (Job 1:11-19, Job 29:14-25).  Tooting our own Christian trumpets is not truth.  It tarnishes God’s glory by putting a varnish on ours.  Whatever glory we may be seeking for ourselves in doing any work for the Lord – is not His glory (Proverbs 25:27).  It is glorying in everything but the Cross (Galatians 6:14).

Pure and undefiled religion in God’s eyes – is the kind unspotted from this world (James 1:27).  It is when we work quietly and privately away from the public spotlight.  Serving all others with the unfeigned and fervent love God commands (1 Peter 1:22) – without fawning all over ourselves.  Without sounding the attention alarm by having to publish our works in the church bulletin – or post them on Facebook.

Christianity is not a contest.  We are to prove our own work, so any rejoicing will be in ourselves (Galatians 6:4).  We are not wise if we compare and measure ourselves with what other believers are doing (2 Corinthians 10:12).  Showcasing is often created when we do this.  Contention between Christians and churches follows.  Confusion, pride, and evil works ensue (Proverbs 13:10, James 3:16),

Until the day of Christ’s return – we are to have faith to ourselves (Romans 14:22).  We are to pray in private and fast secretly (Matthew 6:5-6, Matthew 6:18).  We are to let others who are strangers praise us – not our own mouths or lips (Proverbs 27:2). All Jesus did on earth was to go about His Father’s business.  Teaching the Word of truth, without having to boast about it.  The same goes for us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(NKJV and KJV Scripture)

– The pride of your heart has deceived you – you that dwell in the clefts of the rocks; whose habitation is high – that say in his heart, “Who shall bring me down to the ground?” “Though you exalt yourself as the eagle, and though you set your nest among the stars, then I will bring you down,” says the Lord. – Obadiah 1:3-4

God will not put up with pride – it is the poison of the entire human soul.  Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall (Proverbs 12:18, Proverbs 16:18).  Only by pride does contention come (Proverbs 13:10).  It’s an anti-toxin to truth – and it creates contempt (Psalm 123:4).  Being proud contaminates our conscience and corrupts our conversations. 

It can kill kindness.  It will often puff us up one against each other, creating an almost smug sense of self-importance – with all the self-perceived prominent things we may think we are doing in the world – or with God’s Word (Isaiah 43:13, 1 Corinthians 4:6).  Being proud can seem to pull parted people back together in unity – but all it does for Christians is pull us away from God – and push us perilously closer to the devil (James 4:6, 1 Peter 5:5, 1 Timothy 3:6).

Pride is a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, merit, or superiority – whether it’s cherished privately in the mind – or as displayed in bearing or conduct.  It goes hand-in-hand with haughtiness – a scornful state of being saturated with blatant and disdainful pride.  Worldly pride elevates man and lowers God.  When this happens, our Father will find a way to bring us back down to earth (lead verses, Proverbs 29:23, Job 40:12).

God will destroy the house of the proud (Proverbs 15:25).  Our Father shall cut off all flattering lips – and the tongue that speaks proud things (Proverbs 12:3).  We are to talk no more exceedingly proudly – and not let arrogance come out of our mouths.  For the Lord is a God of knowledge – and by Him all our actions are weighed (1 Samuel 2:3, 1 Chronicles 28:9, Hebrews 4:12).  The Lord will not suffer with anyone who has a high look or a proud heart (Psalm 101:5).

One of the most prominent players in the downfall and total destruction of Sodom was pride (Ezekiel 16:49).  In the book of Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar was deposed from his throne because his heart was hardened with it.  God then sent him to dwell with the wild asses to humble the king.  He was fed with grass like oxen – until he knew the most high Lord God ruled in the kingdom of men – and that He appointed over it whomever he wanted (Daniel 5:20:21).

Even when Belshazaar, Nebuchadnezzar’s son, knew all this – he failed to humble his heart as well.  The penalty for pride this time was death.  His sentence was spelled out in the words of the “hand writing on the wall” – Daniel’s interpretation of the dream that had been terrifying Belshazzar.  God had numbered his kingdom and finished it.  Belshazzar had been weighed in the balances – and been found wanting.  He was slain later that same night (Daniel 5:24-30).

Pride leads to boasting.  Boasting is glorifying one’s self in speech (Job 29:12-25, John 7:18).  It is usually caused by a desire to take personal credit for something caused or created solely by God’s presence and power (John 15:5, John 19:11, Acts 17:28, 2 Corinthians 4:7).  When Gideon and his men were ready to go up against the Midianites,  God told Gideon there were too many men in his camp.

The Lord knew if they won the battle with equal numbers of soldiers on both sides, it would be easy for Gideon’s men to take credit if they were victorious – and vaunt (boast) themselves against Him, saying “Our own hand saved us (and not God’s) (Judges 7:1-2).  When we rejoice in our boastings – all such rejoicing is evil in our Father’s eyes (James 4:16).

Prideful postings seem at times to pepper social media sites like Facebook.  Pride in the accomplishments of self, family, or friends – as well as pride in certain professions, or where one lives.  Our Father has respect unto the lowly – but the proud He knows afar off (Psalm 138:6). Everyone that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord.  Although we may join hand in hand in our haughtiness – we will not go unpunished (Proverbs 16:5).

Many people seem as if they’re wondering where God has been lately in this country.  Where is this God of judgment when evil seems to prevail much of the time (Malachi 2:17)?  Well, pride is not the path to peace and restoration.  Returning to Him in repentance with our hearts is (Joel 2:13).  Our Father will not heal a proud nation, but he will heal a humble one (2 Chronicles 7:14).

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