I have seen the broken-edged blackboards and large sheets of paper pinned to the walls of shacks that double as Bible classrooms and auditoriums. I’m sure that the brethren who study and praise God in those humble dwellings would look at our buildings as something to aspire to. I know how they feel. I have also been in other church facilities that make our own seem humble by comparison. I judge no one. But when I look at the obvious humility and fervour of my brethren meeting in those shacks, I pray that what they have in spirit they never lose.
If ever the saying, “Hidden in plain sight” is to be easily applied to a sin, it is the sin of “Pride.”
Pride and arrogance are often associated with the “nobodies” around us. The obvious candidates being the boastful brother who hasn’t amounted to much, or the critical sceptic who sits off to the side of the church.
However, pride is one of those sins that is overlooked if possessed by people of progress; after all, they get things done! Thus, arrogant outbursts are ignored as the understandable frustrations of a man who doesn’t suffer fools gladly.
Believe me, some of the most efficient and effective work that you have witnessed in the church has been achieved by individuals who suffer from overweening pride. But whatever the gains that come from a Christian who is selfishly motivated are lost through lack of divine input. The Psalmist said it best:
“Unless the LORD builds a house,
its builders labour over it in vain”
Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, learned the hard way. When he attributed the grandeur of Babylon to his own glory and power, God reduced him to the ways of a beast of the field for seven years. When he came to his senses, he returned the glory to WHOM it belonged:
“Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt and honour the King of heaven, for all His works are true and His ways just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride” (Daniel 4:37).
John Staiger (