Borrowed Truths

The Trap of Vainglory

the trap of vain glory
Borrowed Truths

The Trap of Vainglory

The closer the Lord draws us to Himself, the more we deny ourselves and live a life that attempts, in our feeble human way, to glorify Him in every aspect of our life, the more attuned we become with our own sin. Even the person we were just a few months, or even weeks ago, we see as perhaps not as wicked, for we are children of the Most High, but perhaps not in line with what not only what the Lord wants us to be, but that which we attempt to be, again, solely for the glory of God.

There is an insidious trap here that nearly all who are on the path fall into at one time or another, that of seeing ourselves as perhaps not better than others, but more “in tune” with the will and Word of God, and that trap leads directly to Spiritual pride. We may not actively search out those who might be called weaker brothers and sisters in the faith, but at times when we meet them, we will inform them that that is exactly what they are. “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” (1 Cor. 9:27) It is in a sense a self-conscience delusion, and every man of God understands it, yet can repeat with Paul, usually after the fact, “For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.” (Romans 7:19)

And when it happens, we hate ourselves for it.

“And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.” (1 Cor. 2:1) Paul, as we are to do, along with all those not only in the Scriptures, but men and women of God who have come before us, never sought any glory for themselves, all was done for the love of Christ and the glory of God, but that sin nature inside of us will not die, and it is the exact same nature that Satan exhibited when he said “I will.” (Isaiah 14:14) It is impossible to spend our lives following the Lord and not seek at least a few times some form of recognition for our deeds, and my friends, when that happens, you just got your reward and relinquished any form of reward in heaven for that deed done, or those words said.

The man of God who recognizes these occurrences repents immediately of them, seeking the forgiveness of the Lord, and if he is wise, will, when possible, seek out the one that the infraction was laid upon, asking them for forgiveness as well. The main problem, as it were, is we see that all the children of the Most High have the opportunity to grow in the knowledge of the grace and mercy of God, yet for reasons only known to them and the Lord they refuse to. What we attempt to do is enlighten them in this knowledge, but in doing so many times what they hear is, “You’re not good enough, you need to submit more, you need to grow. “Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.” (Romans 14:4)

Here is the conundrum, we see truth, we want them to see that truth, but the means to do so must not only be balanced with falling into that trap of Spiritual pride, but with the limited knowledge you may have of that individual in question. We do not all grow at the same pace, and not all of us will run the entire race with great vigor and intent. A true desire to assist someone in their walk with Christ can become a judgmental affair very quickly, and the wrong word can turn good intentions into evil words in those individuals ears just as quickly.

We are not to seek out intentionally these faults in others, but when they are seen, and known as truth, they must be addressed. The only advice I will offer is the truths of the Word of God, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” (Gal. 5:14) If you do this, then the proper words will be given to you by the Holy Spirit for that person, and you will, at least in this instance, not fall into that trap.

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