Today’s Scripture: I Corinthians 4:6-9
6 Dear brothers and sisters, I have used Apollos and myself to illustrate what I’ve been saying. If you pay attention to what I have quoted from the Scriptures, you won’t be proud of one of your leaders at the expense of another. 7 For what gives you the right to make such a judgment? What do you have that God hasn’t given you? And if everything you have is from God, why boast as though it were not a gift?
8 You think you already have everything you need. You think you are already rich. You have begun to reign in God’s kingdom without us! I wish you really were reigning already, for then we would be reigning with you. 9 Instead, I sometimes think God has put us apostles on display, like prisoners of war at the end of a victor’s parade, condemned to die. We have become a spectacle to the entire world—to people and angels alike.
When I was in High School there was a slang phrase that we would say when someone was showing an exorbitant amount of pride. “She thinks she’s all that – and a bag chips” we would declare. Sounds silly now. But back then it was quite the insult!
The Corinthians thought they were all that and a bag of chips. They had a problem with humility. A big problem. It seems they had none. For several verses in this part of the letter, Paul chastises them for their cockiness and pride. But why would he do this? What’s wrong with a little self-esteem?
The Corinthians ideas about themselves had moved far beyond healthy self-esteem. It was now full-on hubris. But Paul reminds them that overabundant pride is not what he taught them about the Kingdom of God. And it certainly is not what we see in the life of Jesus.
I worry about how easily I can slip from a healthy sense of self to an unhealthy pride. It happened to the Corinthians because of their wealth, their education, and their desire for social status – all things that we have in abundance in our world today. Add to that the impact of social media and the desire to curate a perfect picture of ourselves and you have the recipe for an overinflated ego.
As Children of God we should think highly of ourselves – after all we are made in God’s image. However, remembering that we are God’s children does not mean we live our lives puffed up with pride. There is a balance here that can get lost pretty quickly.
How is your pride/humility balance level today?
God so often we can get caught up in our own self-importance. We think that we have everything we need. We think we can do it ourselves. Help us to act with the humility and grace of Jesus Christ this day.