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How to Break Out of the Circle of Pride

June 5, 2018

“What do you have that you did not receive?” 1 Corinthians 4:7

Moses describes a person locked into the circle of pride: “Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth’” (Dt. 8:17).

But here’s how you break out of this circle of pride: “You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day” (8:18). Moses is making this obvious point: You say it was “my power” and “my might” that produced this wealth, but where did that power and might come from? Who gave you the strength to achieve this success?

Martin Luther said, “God uses our effort as a mask under which he blesses us and dispenses his gifts.” The world sees what you have done. The world says, “He is a great man, look at what he has accomplished.” But the real reason for your success is the blessing of God. The world sees the mask; what it doesn’t see is that underneath the mask it is God who is blessing you.

Carl F. H. Henry was a man of extraordinary scholarship, a prolific author, the founder of Fuller Seminary, and the first editor of Christianity Today. Don Carson conducted an interview with Henry and he asked him: “With all this achievement, how do you stop it going to your head?” He replied, “How can you possibly be proud when you are standing beside a cross?”

How would you answer Don Carson’s question today?

The Author
Colin Smith

Colin Smith is the senior pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. He has authored a number of books, including Heaven, How I Got Here and Heaven, So Near - So Far. Colin is the president and teacher for Unlocking the Bible. Follow him on Twitter.

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