UNDER PRESSURE ◽ YOU
Giving Thanks Wins
by Debbie Haynes
There is a driving force within each of us that is stronger than most anything else that we fight against. And that is pride. It’s an enemy of our soul and; yet, it’s one of the hardest things to eliminate.
The Bible is clear that pride is not something God likes. We are told in I John 2 that all that is in the world (including the pride of life) is not of the Father. And in The Message translation it says:
Don’t love the world’s way; don’t love its goods.
The love of the world squeezes out love for the Father.
Maybe we find it easy to stay away from recognizable sins (i.e. murder) but pride is often a motivator behind even the good that we do for others.
Author C.S. Lewis had this to say,
“For pride is a spiritual cancer; it eats up the very possibility of love, contentment, and even common sense…” “A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you’re looking down you can’t see anything that’s above you.”
A great missionary, Andrew Murray wrote,
“Pride must die in me, else nothing of heaven can live in me.”
And Jonathan Edwards wrote,
“Pride is the worst viper in the human heart! It is the greatest disturber of the soul’s peace, and of sweet communion with Christ.”
The Bible tells us of the story between the proud and arrogant giant Goliath and the humble young boy David. One was blinded and motivated by his own pride and the other fully aware of his own limitations as he said,
“The Lord will deliver you into my hands.”
And we know how that story ended. Prideful Goliath was brought down by the humility and profound faith of a young boy.
I awoke one morning with the impression that pride and thanksgiving cannot co-exist in the same heart. One or the other rules us, because the actions we carry out and our chosen allegiances will demonstrate what’s in our hearts.
So, I asked God to help me focus on things for which I was thankful. Mostly they were tangible things like home, family, food, shelter and clothing. But there is much more. I realized pride is related to me. What I want, what I need, what I deserve. But thanksgiving is directed above and is completely focused on Him.
God promises in Isaiah 41 that he is with us and we are not to fear or be dismayed. He is God and will strengthen us, help us and uphold us with his right hand of righteousness.
Some ways to help us decrease so that he can increase are:
Give thanks to God for he is good, and his love endures forever. (Psalm 107:1)
Give to the Lord thanks due Him and sing praise to his name. (Psalm 7:17)
Give thanks in everything, for this is his will. (I Thessalonians 5:18)
Give thanks with our requests, and do not be anxious at all. (Philippians 4:6)
Give thanks and let God’s peace rule our hearts…not pride. (Colossians 3:15)
Maybe it sounds simple and easy, but when we put our pride down and direct our attention upward toward Him, a song emerges. Hope and courage arises.
Several decades ago I wrote a song, and my pride told me it was not up to my standards and beneath me…probably a throw-away song…an embarrassment.
But here are the lyrics, simple and true. Sing them in your own voice and heart, and pick up your own stone of faith.
Oh give thanks, oh give thanks, unto the Lord
Oh give thanks, oh give thanks, for he is good
Oh give thanks, oh give thanks, unto the Lord Most High
For His mercy endures forever