THE CHARACTER OF A BELIEVER: A STUDY ON THE PHARISEES II.

One character that is sure to set you up for destruction is pride. A popular saying goes thus; “pride goes before a fall”. This particular character was not far from the Pharisees. Initially, it was easy to sympathize with them. I mean, who would not find it absurd that a carpenter who had no formal education on the law dare to teach seasoned teachers of the law? Nevertheless, after Jesus’ persistence and multiple display of His Supreme wisdom, they ought to have paid attention to the things He said. Not only did He display in-depth wisdom, He also displayed a divine nature; but one thing kept the Pharisees from coming to the point accepting the corrections of Jesus Christ and changing their ways…pride.

 

Refusal to take correction is a display of pride.

“The wise in heart [are willing to learn so they] will accept and obey commands (instruction), But the babbling fool [who is arrogant and thinks himself wise] will come to ruin”. ~ Proverbs 10:8 AMP

Deep in their hearts, the Pharisees knew Jesus was right with all the things He said but they refused to learn and see from His point of view because they were too proud. They felt they had studied too much to be taught (Matthew 13:54-57). Many of the things Jesus preached against was a low blow to them. Rather than change their ways and take to correction, they were concerned about their pride. You see, when you place your pride over conformity to God’s will, you will definitely fall out with God. Sometimes, God does things in unusual ways. He could send someone very much junior to you to warn or correct you. Such as in the case of Eli who was informed of God’s displeasure through Samuel who was a very young boy at that time. In fact, as at the time when God was trying to give Samuel the instruction to pass across to Eli, Samuel hadn’t learnt how to discern the voice of God. (1 Samuel 3:1-14)

Rather than humble themselves at the feet of Jesus who they knew to be the Messiah (but refused to acknowledge) they held on to their pride. As believers, pride is one character we should not have. James 4:6 tells us that God resists the proud and why not? Who wants to associate with someone who isn’t teachable anyway? Pride takes away your ability to be teachable. Do away with every form of pride, especially pride in relation to correction.

The Pharisees were also proud in the sense that they were not seeking God.

As in, they felt they were okay the way they were with all the attention on them. One thing about proud people is that they are attention seekers. Stop giving them attention and watch them bury their heads in shame. The long-awaited Messiah had just come and without announcing Himself or coming in all the regalia they had imagined Him to come in, He still drew mass attention. His silence spoke volumes. Little wonder why the scripture tells us to humble ourselves and God would lift us in due time (1 Peter 5:6). The Pharisees lost the attention they used to have, nothing to feed their pride and they saw Jesus as the enemy. They were seeking attention and glory from men rather than seeking the Savior of the world. Examples of people who were God-seekers rather than men-seekers are Simeon and Anna who recognized Jesus immediately even as a baby (Luke 2:25-38). How much more the Pharisees who had seen Jesus manifest.

Matthew 6:33 tells us to seek first the kingdom of God and everything else will be added to us. Stop feeding your pride by seeking attention for yourself. Don’t be self-centered and proud like the Pharisees. In all humility seek God’s Kingdom, seek to do His will, to draw attention to His name. Stephen, a perfect example, was appointed as Deacon in the early church not just because He was full of the Holy Ghost but also because he was of good character which earned him good report. He would have just been among the names mentioned in the Bible but for his passion for the advancement of the Kingdom of God on earth, several hundreds of years later, we are still speaking of him. (Acts 5:3-15; 6:1-60)

Pride would make you lose relevance.

The Pharisees lost their relevance because they were proud, too proud to be corrected by God through Jesus Christ and too proud to seek God. They put themselves first before other things and ended up losing out totally, they lost their relevance. Pride will hinder you from knowing God’s will for your life. it’d prevent you from living better and make the life you live to be nothing more than a pressure cooker; you’d always be under the pressure of “give them something good to say about me”. Dear believer, you don’t need pride. Do away with it as it is not in the divine nature of God that you possess as a true believer, instead pick up the humility of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:2-4)

Published by teniiiola

A Pharmacy student who loves to talk about God.

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