Love is Greater Than Pride
This week in the Daily Reading, we look at how love casts out pride. Pastor Vijay in his message on Sunday (17th) reminds us that while pride is often categorized by arrogance, like thinking “you’re all that”, or “I’m good!”, the flip side of the coin – feeling insecure, like constantly comparing yourself to others, or thinking “I’m no good!” is also a form of pride.
Both kinds of pride take you away from the love of God and keep you seeking yourself incessantly!
So let’s reading Scripture this week with this understanding of pride in mind and ask the Spirit to open our eyes to see and receive all the ways in which God loves us.
Each reading comes with a reflective question. You may use it as a prompt for areas to pay attention to. They’re there to help you but are not mandatory. Feel free to journal your response and amplify what God is saying to you.
Last week Pastor Tony gave us some helpful pointers for reading Scripture slowly and intentionally. Doing so will give you the time to mull over the passage more deeply, allowing yourself to be immersed in the voice of God. So let it steep a little longer this week.
I just thought I’d put the instructions here again as a guide for you to follow:
For each day this week, start your time with God off with two minutes of silence. Recognize that you are in His presence, and He is filled with a deep, holy, and unbreakable love for you.
Read through the Scripture passage three times:
First Reading: Read through the passage slowly and reflectively. Listen for any word, phrase, or image that rises to the top for you. Give yourself a few moments to simply attend to that word, phrase or image. Ask Jesus to make it clear to you.
Second Reading: Read through the passage a second time. As you do, invite God to speak to you more about the word, phrase, or image that was most significant to you in your first reading. What is significant about this? Why does God want to bring this particular thing up to you today? What is God saying to you about this? How does it relate to your life and relationships right now? Take a few moments after your reading for quiet reflection on these questions.
Third Reading: Read through the passage a third time. As you do, ask God: How do you want me to respond in light of what you’ve been saying to me? Is there an action step you want to take? Is there some way God is asking you to obey Him out of love? Is there some person you need to reach out to in some way? Take a few moments to reflect on these questions.
After your reflection, finish your time by thanking God for the ways that He’s spoken to you and the ways that He loves you. Ask Him to fill you with His love for all that is before you in the day ahead.
Day 1: Matthew 18:1-5
1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.
Question: What do you think is so lowly about the children’s position?
Day 2: James 2-12
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
9 Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position. 10 But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower. 11 For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business.
12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
Question: In your life right now, what do you consider to be the wild flowers that will wither away and what are the trials that will lead to the crown of life?
Day 3: Galatians 5:13-26
13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
Question: What are some of the ways the Spirit enables you to grow?
Day 4: Luke 15:1-10
1 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. 2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
3 Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
8 “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ 10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
Question: Contrast the reaction between the Pharisees and the Angels at the sight of the sinners’ repentance.
Day 5: Luke 15:11-32
11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.
13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’
28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’
31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”
Question: Can you see the two sides of pride as shown by the two brothers? How does God the Father reach out to both of them and invites them back into his love?