Have you ever been driving down the road and someone pulls out in front of you? I’m sure we have all been in that situation. What’s your immediate reaction? Do you get angry with the person? Do you immediately think they are ignorant? I’m sure we all think that they aren’t paying attention. But what if you are the person who pulls out in front of someone else? Maybe you were distracted by the kids in the backseat. Maybe you just weren’t paying attention. At that point you would want grace from others, right?
I’ve been in this situation many times, and it made me realize that it is a prideful reaction. My immediate reaction is to think I’m a better driver than other people. I get angry with those who drive “too slow” or aren’t paying attention as well as I think they should be. We tend to think we are better than others in these situations. I never yell at them or call them out on their driving, but lately God has been working on my attitude in those types of situations. He wants me to show grace and humble myself even in my thoughts.
Humbling ourselves is one of the hardest things we ever do. We are so consumed with ourselves from birth because of our sinful human nature. You can see it easily in a toddler who says, “Mine!” to everything. But Jesus calls us to go against what comes naturally to us. He calls us to love others as we love ourselves–even our enemies. He calls us to humble ourselves before God and give grace to others.
Sometimes we may think we haven’t sinned lately and that there is nothing in our lives to turn over to God. But boy does the wind get knocked out of me when I realize that the sin in that context is also pride. Whenever I start thinking that way, I have to pray, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends You, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” (Psalm 139:23-24 NLT) And believe me, God will point out those offensive things in me, and there are plenty.
“For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.”
-Romans 3:23, NLT
I am a work in progress. I will never be perfect on this side of Heaven. But that does not excuse my sin. That does not leave room for me to sin anyway. I am to look to Jesus and strive to be like Him. I am to correct those ways in my heart and mind that fall short of God’s standards. I am to humble myself and seek His wisdom.
“Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.”
-Proverbs 11:2 NLT
Praise God that I don’t have to stay the way that I am in my sinful human nature! Every day is an opportunity from God to make a better tomorrow. By seeking Him and His standard for my life on a daily basis, I can live out the fruits of His Spirit. By confessing my sin of pride to Him, He removes it from me. He gives me a love for people. He gives me grace to give to them. He gives me patience and helps me to be kind. He cleanses me from my wickedness.
“But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.”
-1 John 1:9, NLT
“Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and His love is brought to full expression in us. And God has given us His Spirit as proof that we live in Him and He in us.”
-1 John 4:11-13, NLT
After we come to know Him, Jesus continues improving on us, working on our character to make us more like Him. I pray the next time we see someone doing something we think is wrong, we will give them grace and love them instead of instantly condemning them. I pray we will humble ourselves and give them the benefit of the doubt, because we never know what they may be facing. They could have just lost a loved one. They could have just gotten a horrible diagnosis. They could be sleep deprived because they have a new infant who won’t sleep at night. If we are the ones going through those situations, we would hope others would have grace for us. So we also should extend grace to them and not try to justify our pride. Instead, let us humble ourselves and love as Jesus loves, putting others before ourselves. Let us allow Jesus to change our pride into love.
“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are My disciples.”
-John 13:34-35, NLT
Candice Hohenwald is a follower of Jesus, wife to an amazing man, and a mom so far to two fur-babies. She’s a lover of music, books, and anything vintage. She blogs at CoffeeWithCandice.com to encourage women in their faith, marriage, and self-love.
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