Are you easily offended? Do you find yourself surrounded by conflict? Do you struggle with inner dialogue that leads you to constantly doubt others?
Seems silly to ask and even think, but if we are honest, I am betting there are many of us who struggle with these things. I know I struggle with being easily offended and quick for conflict. For a long time, I attributed these feelings to insecurities, but God has opened my eyes to a new, a probably more accurate cause, PRIDE.
Pride Promotes Strife
4 Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not comefrom your desires for pleasure that war in your members? 2 You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet[a] you do not have because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. 4 Adulterers and[b] adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”?
We are easily offended because people hurt our pride.
We are quick to conflict when someone doesn’t agree with us. Our pride leads us to believe that our opinion, beliefs, or ideas are somehow superior to others, so when someone doesn’t act, do, or say what we like, we automatically prepare for battle.
This is due to our flesh. We want what we want and, of course, we want it now. We have to be diligent in the war against our own flesh, our own desires, our own thoughts.
Believing we are just insecure, somehow lets us feel and believe that these thoughts, feelings, and such are not our fault. But we are at fault. Christians are not to be quarrelsome. We are to love and get along with our brothers and sisters in Christ. We are not to be easily offended. While it may seem impossible to overcome these feelings, God would not ask it of us if it is not possible.
6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”[c]
7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands,you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
Humility Cures Pride!!!
We must take these thoughts captive as soon as they enter our minds. Acknowledge them for what they are: whispers from Satan and shut them down. The scripture says if we do not act on our temptation or think on it, Satan will flee. We can only do this if we are strong in our relationship with the Lord. The weaker our relationship, the weaker or desire is to do what God asks us to do.
I will speak more to verse 9 next time, but we need to be also sorry and repent when we fall short and allow our pride to control our actions.
Humbleness is getting to a place where our flesh does not have to win. When we can lay our own thoughts, feelings, and desires down for others…even if we are right…even if it causes others to “win.”
As, Lysa TerKeurst says, ” If we want to live better, we have to choose better.” Meaning we have to choose God over ourselves. This is something we have to do every day with every choice.
Be Blessed and Be a Blessing,