Pride is the opposite of humility. Where there is humility, there will be love. Paul described the opposite of pride when he listed the characteristics of genuine Christian love: “Love is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud, never haughty or selfish or rude. Love does not demand its own way. It is not irritable or touchy. It does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong. It is never glad about injustice, but rejoices whenever truth wins out. If you love someone you will be loyal to him no matter what the cost. You will always believe in him, always expect the best of him, and always stand your ground in defending him” (1 Cor. 13:4-7, TLB).
There are many examples in the Bible of God leading His children into experiences that break their pride, fear, and self-sufficiency. Abraham, the father of the faithful, did not begin as such. He was fearful, having great concern for self. He lied two times about his wife being his sister in order to protect himself. God brought Abraham into situations designed to break his pride and selfishness. The final and greatest test was to offer his only son, whom he loved very much, to God as a sacrifice. Abraham finally came to the place of breaking, and God could make him a great blessing to others.
“Then the Angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, and said: ‘By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son, in blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice’ ” (Gen. 22:15-18).
This breaking process was not a pleasant experience for Abraham. Breaking trials never are. Yet, they are necessary for all Christians to go through.
Moses is a clear example of a proud man being broken by God in order to do a great work for Him. When he was a young man, Moses was ready to deliver Israel. By killing the Egyptian, he thought that Israel would rally around his leadership and fight against their masters. This didn’t happen. So in fear for his life, he fled Egypt. His initial breaking took 40 years of shepherding sheep in the desert. Then when God called him to return to Egypt to deliver Israel, Moses felt very incapable, and he said to God: “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” (Ex. 3:11).
He was broken and humbled by the experience of the past 40 years. Now he was ready to be used mightily by God to deliver Israel. Moses’ breaking also continued during the next 40 years of desert wandering.
We see the same process time and again in the lives of God’s children throughout the Bible. Christ’s disciples were proud men, even arguing about who was to have the highest position in His kingdom as they made their way to the first Communion service. When Jesus was taken, they all fled in fear. They were broken, discouraged men. This brokenness was necessary for them to become mighty preachers of the gospel and the founding apostles of the Christian church.
Every Christian must experience brokenness. We are naturally proud and self-focused. We naturally like and seek applause and high positions. All this must change in order for God to use us in any significant way.
Personal Reflection and Discussion
1. Pride is the opposite of ______________________________.
2. Humility in the Christian’s life has the same characteristics as _____________________________.
3. List the characteristics of love Paul gives in 1 Corinthians 13.
4. Why is brokenness necessary in the Christian’s life?
5. Have you experienced brokenness in Christ?
• Call your prayer partner and discuss this devotional with him/her.
• Pray with your prayer partner:
1. Pray for God to baptize you with His Holy Spirit.
2. Pray for God to revive you and His church.
3. Pray for God to break you and rid your life of any pride that would keep you from Him.
4. Pray for the individuals on your prayer list.
Excerpt From: Dennis Smith. “40 Days.”