WHO ARE THE BEST PEOPLE FOR YOU TO HANG OUT WITH?

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“Better to be lowly in spirit along with the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud.” (Proverbs 16:19 NIV)

Better to hang with the downtrodden than the proud.  When we hang out with prideful people, we are asking for trouble.  Webster’s dictionary of 1828 defines pride as:  Inordinate self-esteem; an unreasonable conceit of one’s own superiority in talents, beauty, wealth, accomplishments, rank or elevation in office, which manifests itself in lofty airs, distance, reserve, and often in contempt of others.  

Prideful people lead you down the wrong path.  They have a false sense of security that is easily broken.  They are incapable of recognizing their need for Jesus.  Pride blinds them from the truth.  Pride destroys.  Jesus wasn’t prideful, nor did he hang out with prideful people.  Jesus spent His time with those who were willing to accept His help, the lowly in spirit.  Those humble in spirit are the best companions.

Those humble in spirit are the best companions.

Pride is a battle we all face.  I listened to a podcast interview of Laurie Santos, a professor from Yale. She teaches a class on Happiness, currently available online for free. Part of the discussion was about gratitude.  Practicing gratitude makes you happier.  Laurie studies the science behind the emotions.  In the United States, we compare up. 

Say you’re at a concert.  You are third row from the stage, with excellent seats.  In the U.S., statistics show we’re more focused on the people who have seats three rows ahead of us, instead of appreciating the fact we’re not sitting in one of the hundreds of rows behind us.  Pride makes us jealous of what we don’t have instead of thankful for what we do.  Pride causes us to focus on those who we perceive as better off, versus gratitude for having anything at all.

Solomon warns us about pride:

“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18 NIV)

Pride gets us in trouble.  Pride makes us think we’re better than we are.  Pride takes away our ability to see our faults.  Pride causes us to not get the help we need.  Pride causes us to lie to ourselves.  Pride keeps us from Jesus.

When we fall at the feet of Jesus, humility leads the way:

“Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:29-30 ESV)

Jesus led with humility.  He was not prideful.  He spent His time with those who were lowly in spirit and gave them rest for their souls.  Pride destroys our relationship with Jesus and others, humility builds them.  Those humble in spirit are the best companions.

Question of the Day:

How is pride affecting your relationships?

Further Reading: 2 Samuel 22:1-23:23 NIV, Acts 2:1-47 NIV, Psalm 122:1-9 NIV, Proverbs 16:19-20 NIV

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