“God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for it; it is a gift from God.” Ephesians 2:8
Daniel 4 records one of the most profound conversion stories in all of human history. The entire chapter is a letter to the Babylonian Empire by King Nebuchadnezzar telling everyone of his conversion. This is the conversion story of the man who years ago had invaded Judah, destroyed the city of Jerusalem, and carried its citizens off to the land of Babylon. Maybe 30 years into the invasion of Babylon by Daniel and his three buddies … finally, the king of Babylon comes to faith in the one true God and broadcasts the news to the entire Babylonian kingdom. This was a successful invasion!
King Nebuchadnezzar’s conversion came about as a result of being humbled as low as a cow. It took a lot to break this man of his pride. It was so entrenched in his heart that it took seven years of embarrassment and humiliation to remove it from his soul. But it happened. And, it was replaced by God’s amazing grace and the virtue of humility.
Observations about pride:
1. You don’t have to be “the king of the world” to have pride embedded in your heart.
2. It is ugly.
3. It is observable.
In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis writes concerning pride: “There is no fault which makes a person more un-popular, and no fault which we are more un-conscious of in ourselves than pride.”
#1: Pride manifest itself by a lack of accountability.
Daniel said” “Stop sinning and do what is right. Break from your wicked past…”
- One clue that pride may be an issue is a closed heart to accountability or counsel. If someone dare offer it, you ignore it. Humility submits to the words of rebuke and counsel. Pride doesn’t.
#2: Pride manifest itself by looking down on others.
Daniel counseled the king: “Be merciful (be compassionate) to the poor.”
- Pride resists encouraging those under you or helping someone up who is not as far along.
- Pride is critical, demanding, demeaning. Simply put, pride looks down on people.
If pride is an issue for you, don’t wait, like Nebuchadnezzar, until everything was taken from him, to experience a conversion of grace and of humility. Rather, this week, monitor yourself for:
- An openness to accountability and counsel
- AND how you treat those who are not as high up the ladder as you.
Philippians 2:3-8, “Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God,he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privilegeshe took the humble position of a slaveand was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form,he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.