Things were great, and then it bit me!

Have you ever heard someone comment after another has experienced some measure of success, “Well, he/she sure got a big head!” Or maybe the sentiment was voiced in a cautionary tone: “Now watch that all this doesn’t go to your head!” In these two examples it is evident that pride can be a fearfully unattractive quality. Yet, there is another assumption here that I would like to deal with here: Pride is something that springs up, suddenly becoming a temptation for us when blessing and prosperity come our way its tag-alongs — praise, prestige and power.

Though prosperity certainly does present a threat to our souls, it is more like a gift that must be handled with the utmost care. A great portion of our knowledge of how to handle blessing must be learned in the midst of it — much the same as the instruction we receive in trials.

We should not be afraid of prosperity; if it reveals our pride, it has done its job. This is not to say that pride’s exposure is its only purpose for being a part of our lives — it is a blessing to us in so many other ways. It showcases such things as the Father’s love, His generosity, His faithfulness, His boundless imagination and His kindness. But to the degree that it reveals sin that has long since lingered in our hearts, it makes the unceasing mercies of our Lord more precious and more astonishing.

We realize that God is not out to punish us for our sin, but to uncover it that we may freely repent and be cleansed of it. Eagerness to find our sin and destroy our dignity was never God’s method. He cannot ignore our sin because everything we do wrong is against Him. He is seeking to reconcile us when He opens our eyes to what He sees that we might not demand from Him His holy discipline.

So when we see our sin we should not fail to see His mercy there too. Not that we should make light of us in our sin, but that we should make much of Him in His holiness. I know that it is a mistake that I have made too many times: I have tried to create an artificial sobriety over my sin by meditating on it. I didn’t realize that only Christ could make my heart both eager for holiness that begins with Him and appropriately sorrowful for sin that dismisses Him altogether.

But recently I have come to the realization that my sinful response can make bad come of anything. But the problem is with me and not with the undeserved gifts that I enjoy from the hand of God. Nothing is bad for me but serves to reveal the corruption in me that I should be constantly aware that is at the mercy of God that I stand and not in the endurance or plenty of what surrounds me.

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