Barrier Breakers – Pride

As the Israelites stood together about to enter their “promised land” there was only one barrier left, the Jordan River.

Entering the promised land of our own lives is very similar. So often we find ourselves in the same predicament as the Israelites. We’re ready and willing to enter and yet there’s a barrier.

Fear.

Doubt.

Insecurity.

Guilt.

The list could go on and on.

As a youth ministry we’re doing a series called, “Barrier Breakers.” It’s all about how Jesus has broken any and all barriers that would keep us from accomplishing what God has planned for us to do.

The next several posts will deal with the barriers that must be broken for you and me to enter into God’s promised land for our lives.

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PRIDE

It has been argued for years that the root cause of disobedience to God (sin) is pride.

After all, the first sin that ever occurred was caused by it. Eve thought that she knew better than what God had told her. She trusted her knowledge above His and before you can say, “apple strudel” sin made it’s appearance in humanity.

Pride is tricky. It comes in many shapes, sizes, and varities.

There’s the easy to spot, arrogance. You know, those people who walk around as if their God’s gift to mankind in the area of fill in the blank.

Being proud and boastful is also tough to miss. Nothing is worse than being around a shameless self-promoter.

However, as I mentioned earlier, pride can be tricky, sneaky even, and we often miss the less obvious signs of it.

How about the quiet judgmental type?

Surely you’ve met people who are completely preoccupied with what others think of them?

Ungrateful people.

Those that won’t serve.

Being unteachable is another less than obvious sign of pride.

A short and simple definition for pride is dependence on self.

Pride shows up in our lives without invitation. It is one of, if not, the biggest barriers we all face when it comes to living out what God has envisioned for us.

So the question becomes, what breaks the barrier of pride in our lives?

As in most Sunday school classes the answer is… Jesus.

No really, in this case it’s true. Paul cited Jesus as the example in this area when he was dealing with pride in one of the early churches. Let’s take a look at this passage from Philippians 2.3-9 (The Message):

“Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.

“Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.

“Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything.”

If anyone deserved or was entitled to be prideful it was Jesus, and yet throughout His ministry He points and directs attention to His Father.

Jesus models for us the very thing that will shatter the barrier of pride in our lives, humility.

Humility simply defined is dependence on God.

It’s the polar opposite of pride. Pride depends on self, humility depends on God alone.

It’s interesting to me that pride is the root of all sin, because humility seems to be the root of salvation.

Salvation means turning from dependence on self and leaning completely on Christ’s finished work at the cross.

I want to break down the barriers that keep me from God’s best.

Pride is one of those barriers that needs to be broken.

I choose humility.

I choose Jesus.

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