by Jennifer Slattery
As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. Luke 9:51 NIV
When my actions and reactions don’t resemble my Savior and the gentleness that characterizes His wisdom from above, I know I’ve left Him behind. This happens every time I allow my fear and pride, rather than Christ, take the lead. It’s not long after that I develop an us-versus-them mentality. And my love, which Christ told us to radiate most clearly, begins to grow cold.
While praying through Luke 9 this past week, I sensed God calling me to evaluate my pride-filled tendencies. Too many times I serve from a place of superiority, which gets revealed in the ugliness that follows. I’m willing to fight for an insignificant mound of dirt, all the while ignoring the hill—Calvary—that our Savior fixed His gaze upon.
The above verse records some of the most beautiful words about Jesus: “As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem” (Luke 9:51, NIV). Knowing all He’d face in Jerusalem, He still moved forward in determination, willing to lay down His life for even His enemies.
On the way, Jesus and His disciples stopped in Samaria. They found they were not welcome there. James and John were enraged. These were half-breeds; how dare they reject The Master? “Lord,” they said, “Do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?” (Luke 9:54 NIV). They still didn’t get it: they were following a humble servant, one who would suffer for humankind, who only gave glory to the Father. He had not come to judge, but to save.
At Calvary, Jesus’ love would be vividly displayed—for those who received or rejected Him. The disciples didn’t yet understand. I suspect they were blinded by pride, thinking they, the chosen ones, had lowered themselves simply to enter Samaria. Their sense of superiority tainted any love they might otherwise have displayed.
How grieved Jesus must’ve been that day, to see putrid reservoirs of pride well up within hearts where streams of living water should’ve begun to flow.
While I’ve never asked God to obliterate an entire town, I’ve seen my pride repel the very people God died to save. Thinking of myself as entitled or more important than others as I minister is the opposite to the example Jesus consistently lived before His followers.
Paul wrote, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves…” (Philippians 2:3 NASB). There is no room for pride or entitlement when we are serving a Savior who is filled with humility and love.
Lord, remind us, daily, of our need for You, precisely why we need You so desperately, so that our hearts won’t decay from the sin of superiority. Fill us so fully with Your love that only what is good and lovely and pure can remain.
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Jennifer Slattery is a multi-published author, ministry, and the host of the Faith Over Fear Podcast. Find her online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com, find her ministry at WhollyLoved.com, and find her podcast at LifeAudio.com and other popular podcasting sites.
In her new podcast, Faith Over Fear, Jennifer helps us see different areas of life where fear has a foothold, and how our identity as children of God can help us move from fear to faithful, bold living. You can listen by clicking on the link below or by visiting LifeAudio.com.
Join the Conversation: Has pride ever gotten in your way of effectively ministering to others?