There’s no boasting in Heaven

It often first surfaces in the seemingly innocent words of a three-year-old venturing into unknown tasks — “I can do it!” the child adamantly asserts to his parent. Yet he likely cannot do it and he may even be endangering himself in his quest. Oh, that we learned to stop bragging after those first foolish […]

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Real spiritual growth is downward

“Humility is the product of ongoing repentance as one decides against, turns from, and by watching and praying seeks to steer clear of pride in all its forms. And as the battle against pride in the heart is lifelong, so humility should become an ever more deeply seated attitude of living at the disposal of […]

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Prideful or humble

The story Jesus tells in Luke 18 is not just about justification and how one can be justified (v. 14).  It’s also about pride and humility; and Jesus’ purpose in telling the story is to expose the pride of the self-righteous Pharisees (v. 9).  And that means this is a parable not only for unbelievers, […]

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Thinking with sound judgment

A few years ago Money magazine reported that, “When researchers at Duke, Harvard, and Northwestern asked investors how their mutual funds performed last year compared with Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index, a third claimed their funds outperformed the market by at least 5 percent.  One in six said their funds fared better by more than […]

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My problem

I have a problem.  It is a sin I struggle with every single day.  When I spend time in confession, I find that it has influenced my every sin.  As I ponder my motives and desires I find that it has tainted virtually every thought I have and it certainly has tainted every sinful thought […]

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Bragging rights

It’s been called “the Me Monster” — the insatiable desire to exalt oneself and boast in one’s accomplishments.  A toddler will say, “Watch me, Mommy.”  A mom might say, “I just got my child’s report card today…”  A businessman will say, “I just closed the deal I’ve been working on for six months…”  A pastor […]

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Six manifestations of humility

Shortly after the turn of the last century, a preacher was concerned about several evidences of pride in his life.  It seemed to him that he was consumed with pride, and as an antidote, sought to put on some acts of particular humility.  So one thing he chose to do was to make a sandwich […]

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Pride and e-Boasting

Tim Challies writes this morning about pride:  “…the key to pride is the desire to elevate myself so I can have God’s position and status for myself. It effectively lowers God as it elevates self. Humility, on the other hand, is simply a right assessment of myself that takes into account the infinitely vast gulf […]

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Grumbling about grace

It is a skill we begin to hone early in life.  Its first manifestations are the belligerent screams of a demanding infant at feeding time (or diaper changing time or bath time or getting dressed time).  By the time the child is a toddler, the screams morph into whines, mixed with occasion tears.  In the […]

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What makes a heart hard?

Examples of people with hard hearts abound in Scripture.  Pharaoh is the first one who is explicitly said to have a hard heart (Ex. 7:13ff).  He was followed by Sihon (Dt. 2:30), Israel in the wilderness (Ps. 95:8), the inhabitants of the land of Canaan at the return from Egypt (Josh. 11:20), the Philistines when […]

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“I am the Lord”

It has been often noted that at the base of all sin is some form of pride. A man pridefully deems that the protection of his finances is more important than the government’s right to tax, so he is deceitful on his 1040 form.  A child yearns for a toy and is billigerent in his […]

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A study in contrasts

Call this a study in contrasts. Isaiah 9 is a well-known passage for its description of the advent of the Messiah: For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal […]

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Let him who boasts

All men tend towards pride. A wise man’s temptation is to boast in his own wisdom.  A strong man is tempted to boast in his own strength.  A rich man is tempted to boast about his riches (Jer. 9:23). There is a two-fold problem with this pride.  First, the pride is rooted in an exaltation […]

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