Scripture Reveals How to Surrender the ‘Pride of Life’

Jesus, what must I still lay on the alter to surrender to your Lordship?  What is in me that is dulling the power of my prayers?

And the Lord provided 1 John 2:16, “for all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”  And the Lord highlighted “the pride of life” for a number of minutes.  What is this “pride of life”?  

If the “lust of the flesh” concern sinful indulgences of the body, and the “lust of the eyes” are the things one can see and covet.  So the “pride of life” is the indulgence of the ears, the thirst for applause, the hunger for a name of high regard.   As Matthew Henry comments, “A vain mind craves all the grandeur, equipage, and pomp of a vain-glorious life; this is ambition, and thirst after honour and applause. This is, in part, the disease of the ear; it must be flattered with admiration and praise.”      

I confess, Lord, this “pride of a life” is a temptation which has daily overcome me.  Like fingernails running down a chalkboard, it is repulsive.  But Lord, how do get rid of this prideful sound? 

And in answer, the Lord provided Romans 8:13, “for if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.”Stained Cross

How to Put Pride to Death

But how do I put to death my pride, Lord?  How is that possible? 

And the Lord answered again, this time with John 19: 1-30.  I just read this chapter to my 6-yr-old the day before, except I was using a different bible.  I did not intend to go here again today, but the Lord providentially used it again, perhaps as a way of cementing His voice into my soul. 

“And the soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and they put on Him a purple robe.  Then they said, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they struck Him with their hands.” John 19:2,3

Jesus, God of entirety cloaked in human flesh, beaten, scorned and mocked.  Jesus, Creator of the bird and fox, Provider of the bird’s nest and the fox’s hole, had Himself no place to lay His head.  “Hail, King of the Jews!”.  At this point, the fate of the Teacher came to a crown of thorns and a purple robe stained red, with no place to lay His head. 

Room for Only One Voice

The path is so narrow, without room for empty praise, and there is only one Voice ahead.  When I deceive myself with vain glory, bring to mind the praise You endured, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and replay that terrible scene in my head, Jesus.  Mortify my elevated self with these words, ‘a servant is not greater than his master’.

I ask something of a miracle, Lord, that praise would fall on me in the same way as rejection.  That both praise and rejection would only bring to mind the scorn of the cross lifted up; God Almighty in designed subjection to the dust of the earth and flesh, the blood, the thorns, and the hard wood.  Increase, Lord, as I decrease.

So, what do you think?