John Piper says, “Gratitude leaves no room for sin, because it comes out of humility, the opposite of sin. And for sin to flourish it must be dripping with pride.”
As Christians, we are chosen by God, and also targeted by Satan. If we succumb to pride, we are putting ourselves under God’s opposition:
“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time” (1 Peter 5:5, 6).
When we start thinking we’re special, that we’ve earned people’s respect, that we have a lot to offer, then we become proud. That means God is opposed to us, and we are operating outside of the grace that He only gives to the humble. We're a fall waiting to happen: “Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18).
Not only our attitude, but our actions will demonstrate whether pride or humility is at work in our lives.
Puritan Theologian John Flavel said, "They that know God will be humble; they that know themselves cannot be proud." The way to be humble is to take a good look at God and then a good look at yourself, and notice the difference. When you see Him as He is and yourself as you are, the very thought of being proud or arrogant should be absolutely laughable.
May we as followers of Christ consciously pursue humility and not allow Satan to get an inroad in our lives. When we receive praise, we should deflect that praise to Christ, not just to appear humble, but to actually BE humble.
Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries.