Psalms 100:1-5 Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
Psychologists and society will often tell us that our emotional problems exist because we don’t have a positive self-image. They will tell us that we need a healthy dose of self-esteem. I believe that many of our problems come from the opposite end of that spectrum. It’s not that we don’t have a good self-image, or high self-esteem, it’s usually because we have too much of it. It’s not that we don’t love ourselves, but that we love ourselves too much. Of course, the Bible simply calls all of this pride. The problem far too often is not that we have too low of an opinion of ourselves, it’s that we have too high an opinion of ourselves.
There was a CEO of a Fortune 500 company who pulled into a service station to get gas. He went inside to pay, and when he came out, he noticed his wife engaged in a deep discussion with the service station attendant. It turned out that she knew him. In fact, back in high school before she met her husband, she dated this man.
This CEO got into his car, and he and his wife drove in silence. Thinking of the man back at the gas station, he was feeling pretty good about himself. He finally said, "I bet I know what you are thinking. I bet you are thinking you're so glad that you married me, a Fortune 500 CEO, and not him, a service station attendant.” She replied, “No, I was thinking if I would have married him, he'd be a Fortune 500 CEO, and you'd be a service station attendant.”
It is far too easy for us to think more highly of ourselves than we should, and that leads right down the path to pride. But what is the antidote for avoiding this? What will keep us from becoming proud and taking credit for everything good that happens in our life?
The answer is very clearly laid out in Psalm 100, throughout the book of Psalms, and really the whole Bible. The answer is praise. The answer is thanksgiving. But not just any form of praise and thanksgiving, but praise and thanksgiving given specifically to the right person, God.
It is hard to be proud when we are humbly praising and thanking our Creator for everything He has done for us. Many people think, “What do I have to be thankful for?” The reason they believe like that is because they have not taken time to think. All of us have more things to praise the Lord for than we really realize.
Pride and praise cannot coexist. If we want to defeat pride in our life, then the antidote is praise. Ask yourself, “When was the last time I praised the Lord just for who He is? When was the last time I thanked God for something specific in my life?”
Determine to not waste your vacation by returning stronger than ever.
Nothing can be more satisfying than seeing someone trust Christ as their personal Saviour and take steps towards spiritual growth!