Put Away the Pompous!

“The pride of your heart has deceived you,
    you who live in the clefts of the rock,
    in your lofty dwelling,
who say in your heart,
    ‘Who will bring me down to the ground?’
Though you soar aloft like the eagle,
    though your nest is set among the stars,
    from there I will bring you down,
declares the Lord…

“But do not gloat over the day of your brother
    in the day of his misfortune;
do not rejoice over the people of Judah
    in the day of their ruin;
do not boast
    in the day of distress.
Do not enter the gate of my people
    in the day of their calamity;
do not gloat over his disaster
    in the day of his calamity;
do not loot his wealth
    in the day of his calamity…

For the day of the Lord is near upon all the nations.
As you have done, it shall be done to you;
    your deeds shall return on your own head.” Obadiah 3-4,12-13,15

“My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in,  and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, ‘You sit here in a good place,’ while you say to the poor man, ‘You stand over there,’ or, ‘Sit down at my feet,’  have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?.. You have dishonored the poor man…

“If you really fulfill the royal law.., ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.” James 2:1-4,6a,8-9

Putting self on a pride-braced pedestal to lord it over others is a nasty habit and dishonoring to the Maker of us all. Famous or unknown, successful or failure, strong or weak, intelligent or simple, all are in His image made. Showing favoritism and puffing up ourselves at the expense of others belittles them and ignores or dismisses their value. (James 2:15-16)

What causes us to think more highly of ourselves and less of others than we ought? Likely we carry some insecurity that compels us to compare, and when we come up short, we have to find someplace or someway to exert superiority. We don lenses of pomposity, and pick at the grit and specks in others while failing to recognize our own. Actually, we’re all dust, every one of us destined to fade like the grass of the field. While God appoints different gifts and callings, He loves and treasures us all. (Psalm 103:14; Luke 6:41-42; John 3:16; Romans 12:3; 1 Peter 1:24)

Do we teeter on self-constructed high horses, looking down, struggling to maintain a semblance of a squeaky clean, all-polish-and-success image? Do we relationally demand others accept our quirks and strong opinions without making effort to value theirs? Would we instead promote the grace of Christ by dismounting before God and seeking ways to relate to our equals with His love? (Psalm 14:1-3)

Great Father, daily remind me who I am before You. Replace any hint of guile and malice with pure love.

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