Monday, July 27, 2009

Is Our Attitude Betraying Our Beliefs?

As those who understand and uphold the wonderful doctrines of God's sovereign grace in our salvation, we should be the most humble people on earth. But, sadly, we don't always believe these truths in our practice. We have often heard that an arrogant person who claims he believes in total depravity, unconditional election, definite atonement, effectual grace, and perseverance of the saints evidences that he does not truly understand these doctrines--or else he would not be arrogant!

Stuart Scott is his helpful booklet, From Pride to Humility: A Biblical Perspective (2002, Focus Pubishing, Bemidji, MN), lays out thirty manifestations of pride that we do not readily see in ourselves. Let us take a few moments to look through this list and examine our words and behavior and see where we might be betraying our so dearly held beliefs in God's sovereignty and grace. (See the book for a good description of each one, including Scriptural references.)

1. Complaining against or passing judgment on God
2. A lack of gratitude in general
3. Anger
4. See yourself as better than others
5. Having an inflated view of your importance, gifts and abilities
6. Being focused on the lack of your gifts and abilities
7. Perfectionism
8. Talking too much
9. Talking too much about yourself
10. Seeking independence or control
11. Being consumed with what other think
12. Being devastated or angered by criticism
13. Being unteachable
14. Being sarcastic, hurtful, or degrading
15. A lack of service
16. A lack of compassion
17. Being defensive or blame-shifting
18. A lack of admitting when you are wrong
19. A lack of asking forgiveness
20. A lack of biblical prayer
21. Resisting authority or being disrespectful
22. Voicing preferences or opinions when not asked
23. Minimizing your own sin and shortcomings
24. Maximizing others' sin and shortcomings
25. Being impatient or irritable with others
26. Being jealous or envious
27. Usuing others
28. Being deceitful by covering up sins, faults, and mistakes
29. Using attention-getting tactics
30. Not having close relationships

Matthew 18:1-4, "At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, 'Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?' And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said, 'Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.'"

Let us demonstrate our beliefs in words and actions that are consistent with sinners who have experienced God's free grace that has transformed their lives.

Jeff Ryan
Pastor of Calvary Bible Church
Rogers City, MI

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