1 Peter 5:6-9 and Philippians 2:1-4
If I had to boil down all the animosity and division, all the national strife and international tensions that we are experiencing today, it comes down to pride. Pride in our history and our culture. Pride in a symbol of our nation. Pride in believing that we are right and everyone who thinks differently is wrong. Pride in our particular denomination. Pride in our ability to understand the will of God and dictate it to others. Pride in our own personal achievements or the accomplishments of our people group, nation, or Alma Mater.
But these verses in 1 Peter and Philippians paint a different view for us as believers. We are not to be proud. Because we are to recognize the good things we have are gifts from God, not fruit of our own making. Our achievements represent moments when we allowed the Holy Spirit to move us. The struggles we face are only those He allows to enter our lives through the fingers of His hand covering us as we dwell in His nail-scarred palm. Our nation’s achievements are the result of being founded on His Word, however imperfectly it was applied. Imagine if we united and applied those principles that we claim to honor with the national anthem instead of debating the best manner in which to honor them?
Today I repent of all the times I’ve claimed a victory that was God’s. I repent of all the times I’ve blamed someone else for a failure that was God’s training ground for me. I repent of all the times I’ve made another person the villain, when my adversary is not any human being, but the enemy of all of our souls. I repent of all the times I’ve given up because I lacked the strength, rather than turning to the One who never lacks the strength. I repent of all the times I’ve thought that I could fix a problem or injustice, instead of taking it to the One who will ultimately set every wrong right.
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