Set aside pride as the center of life

Published 8:41 am Wednesday, January 17, 2024

From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Rev. Graham: I’ve been very proud of my career and accomplishments, but I was unprepared for financial reversals I’ve faced since the pandemic and have lost my job – my identity. I have wondered if this might be God trying to get my attention, admitting that I’ve put Him on the back burner because of my ambition and success. I’m reluctant to run back to God for fear that other Christians will say that I’m only doing it because I’ve fallen on my face and am not as great as I claimed. Others tell me this is also pride. How can I conquer this? – A.W.

Dear A.W.: The Bible says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6, ESV). Pride comes from looking only at ourselves; meekness comes through looking at God. A major reason for pride is thinking there is no need for God because often those who enjoy great success believe they’ve been able to run their life quite satisfactorily – without Him!
When people run into difficulty, many times they turn to God. But everyone – everyone – needs God. Better to turn to Him than not at all! Sometimes the hardest thing for ambitious people to do is admit the need for God. There are times God allows things to happen to show us we aren’t as able to run things as we thought.
In our willful desire to live independently of God, we have severed the lifeline that flows from the source of life. Encountering a difficult turnaround could be the best time of life. We mustn’t let pride keep us from the greatest gift in the universe – the gift of salvation which God offers in Christ Jesus. Set aside pride as the center of life and submit to Christ. Repent of sin and turn to Him, and He will begin to change ambitious thoughts from self to Him.
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(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)

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