While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” Matthew 17:5
For a while now, I have heard a lot of talk about being proud. It seems like most people think it is the right thing to do to take pride in your work or be proud of who you are. Even being proud to be an American. Certainly, it is important to do a good job and to the best of your ability in whatever you do. It is for sure a good thing to like who you are and whom you have become. However, pride is not the right emotion to describe the feelings you should be having.
In today’s scripture, Jesus had been transformed into His glorified body. Then Moses and Elijah showed up to talk to Him. When Peter saw what was going on, he was excited and began to tell Jesus how good it was that they were there with Him. (notice who Peter is focused on) Before Peter can finish his thought or get an answer to his idea, God interrupts and tells them all to listen to Jesus, His beloved Son that He is very pleased with. Note that God doesn’t say: “This is my Son, and I am very proud of Him.” The reason is because God hates pride. All through the scriptures there are warnings about being prideful and the destruction that comes with it. Below is a short list of verses about pride:
Proverbs 11:2 – Pride brings disgrace; humility brings wisdom.
Isaiah 23:9 – The Lord will humble all who are prideful.
James 5:6 – God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble
Proverbs 8:13 – God hates pride, arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.
Proverbs 16:18 – Pride goes before destruction.
Proverbs 6:16-17 – Pride is an abomination/atrocity to God.
The difference between being proud and being pleased with something is where your focus is being placed. If you are proud of your child for an accomplishment, the focus is on yourself and the fact that you are responsible for their achievement. If you are pleased with your child for their accomplishment, it puts the attention on the child and takes it from yourself.
Our focus should always be on others and how we can encourage and build them up. When you are preoccupied with your own life and the things you are going through, that is where pride has an open door to come in and trip you up. I know it seems like a technicality but think about where you are drawing attention to the next time you use the word “proud”. Don’t be fooled like some are thinking it is right to be proud because we have been given so much. The truth is that we are blessed, but it has nothing to do with who we are, only who our God is.
Today I want to encourage you to consider if you have let pride creep into your life. Take inventory of the feelings you have about the things you have accomplished in life. Even if you don’t feel good about your abilities, you can still be in pride. Pride is in place anytime “you” are the center of your life. Make others your focus today. Look for those you can bless wherever you are. Listen to those who are around you and their cries for help and pray for the hurting people that God brings into your life today. Eliminate pride from you life once and for all and ask the Holy Spirit to expose the hidden corner where it may be lurking.
Today’s scripture reading: Matthew 17:1-13
1 Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves;
2 and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light.
3 And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him.
4 Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
5 While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!”
6 And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid.
7 But Jesus came and touched them and said, “Arise, and do not be afraid.”
8 When they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.
9 Now as they came down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, “Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man is risen from the dead.”
10 And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?”
11 Jesus answered and said to them, “Indeed, Elijah is coming first and will restore all things.
12 But I say to you that Elijah has come already, and they did not know him but did to him whatever they wished. Likewise the Son of Man is also about to suffer at their hands.”
13 Then the disciples understood that He spoke to them of John the Baptist.