Pride Prolonged

And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?

Matthew 6:27 ESV

A life filled with anxiousness is a life spent denying the sovereign control of God over the workings of the universe and the affairs of humanity. It may be that I give ascent to the sovereign control and right that God has in being our Creator and Lord, but my everyday thoughts and words reveal the true character and nature of my heart. It is commendary to repeat the great verses of Scripture where we recite and honor the Kingship of Jesus but if these verses have not soaked our hearts in their unalterable truth, then we will find ourselves acting contrary to the very Scripture we recite. We will find that we have become hypocrites and idolaters as we sing these great truths but act in a manner that shows we are still clinging to and holding fast to our own will and might. Our idolatry becomes our own desire to be in control and make God’s blessings come to pass in our lives.

This seems a bit harsh but I feel this hypocrisy so often in my heart. It all starts with such a simple premise most of the time. I want to do certain things to add more days to my life. Truly we should all take care of our bodies and we should be honored to care for this bodily temple that the Lord has given to us. Yet, this can be taken to an idolatrous point. A friend of mine was speaking to me the other day about their friends who had passed away. The most fit of them passed away first and the one that was most unfit was still alive and kicking. While it was a funny story, there was a kernel of untruth in there that struck me while thinking about this verse. The untruth that because the fittest had done the “right” things he deserved and/or earned more days in his life. There was an undercurrent of self-righteousness and unfairness in the story.

I know I do this all the time in my own heart when I let the anxious thoughts of my prideful heart bubble up to the surface. I can look back over my current life and list off the ways that I am “serving” and “pleasing” God so he should bless me. I take the sovereign and righteous Creator and try to back him into a corner of debt toward me. It’s a silly and foolish thought to be sure, but one that pulls at my heart and sings an alluring song. God owes me no debt. He has never owed me a debt. He has only ever lavished me with his grace, mercy, care, and compassion at every moment of my life.

Every day of my life is a blessing from the Lord and I should be thankful and grateful for each one. I should care for my body and my life in view of God’s great mercy toward me. I should care for my body not to prolong my days, but to honor the gift that has been given to me. God has ordained the days of my life and he alone is the one who sustains and upholds them. My anxiousness and worry about life are only revealing a lack of humble reliance and dependence upon the Lord. It’s my pride swelling up to reveal itself in anxious thoughts and actions. It’s my iron grip of self-righteousness that leads me astray. The cure is simple enough, Jesus reigns. The One who reigns over every atom and molecule in this universe rules over my day-to-day. In humility, I can come before him in trust and surrender. I can surrender myself to the One who is Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control.

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