Friday, October 10, 2014

Open Heavens Devotional for Friday October 10, 2014


Memorise: And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. Matthew 23:12

Read: Isaiah 14:12-17
12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
16 They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;
17 That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners? 


One of the most subtle and hazardous problems of leadership is the peril of pride. The very fact that a man has risen to a position of leadership with its attendant prominence tends to engender secret self-congratulation and pride which if not checked, will make such a fellow unfit for further advancement in the service of God’s kingdom. Pride is a fundamental sin that aims at enthroning self at the expense of God. Pride was the sin that converted Lucifer from an anointed cherub and guardian of the throne of God, to the devil – the leader of evil and the most cruel and unpleasant spirit. It was this same pride that caused the expulsion of Lucifer from Heaven. Isaiah 14:12 says,

“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!”

Pride is subtle. It is a sin whose presence its victim is least conscious of. This hydra-headed spiritual monstrosity assumes various forms. The most abhorrent of these forms is spiritual pride. Since pride is a subtle sin, how can you discover whether or not you have succumbed to its flatteries? First, spiritual pride manifests itself mostly in Christian service. To identify whether you manifest pride in your service or not, you should endeavour to sincerely answer these questions: How do you react when another person is selected for the assignment you expected? How do you react when another person is promoted and you are overlooked? How do you react when another person outshines you in gifts and accomplishments? Secondly, be honest. How do you feel when others, especially your rivals say negative things about you? Thirdly, submit yourself to the test of criticism. This is part of the price that must be paid daily by a leader. No leader is exempted from criticism. It should be noted that there is nothing else that so kills the efficiency, capability and initiative of a leader as unhelpful, destructive criticism. It tends to hamper and undercut the efficiency of a man’s thinking process. It chips away at his self-respect and undermines his confidence in his ability to cope with his responsibilities. 

However, criticism is equally a powerful instrument in assessing the presence of pride in a leader’s life. The pride or humility of a leader can be clearly seen in the leader’s reaction to criticisms. To identify the presence of pride in your life, you should ask if criticism causes hostility and resentment in your heart, causes you to immediately try to justify yourself and if you hasten to respond by in turn criticising the critic.

Action Point: To overcome the peril of pride, you should be honest and measure yourself by the life of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who humbled Himself, even to death on the cross.

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