“‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.'” Luke 15:31-32
Pride is a wonderful thing, don’t you think? Not the kind of pride that comes through accomplishments or belief in another, but the kind that is filled with self-righteous arrogance and the lack of understanding who God is and the fact that you’re not Him. No, not so wonderful . . . it inflates the flesh!
Do you think Adam or Eve dealt with pride? We don’t read much in the way of life after the fall but for little snippets that shed a little light upon the groans of a broken world. I would suspect that there was some pride during the time when Adam and Eve were banished from the garden. The emotions, the attitudes, the lack of fellowship with God had to have been filled with moments of absolute grief and loss. The only place they had ever known was the Garden of Eden and despite all that was made for their pleasure, none was truly theirs anymore. Suddenly, the first family was without the amenities of sin-free existence.
I can only imagine a few conversations about how they couldn’t be treated like this . . . or how they shouldn’t be treated like this. How too, I suspect, they both questioned why they were designed, created and given life. After all, the serpent convinced them that they knew better than God — that their plan far outweighed God’s plan. They were wronged by rights.
The sense of entitlement that both Adam and Eve likely felt is not unlike the rights we feel we have when something we think belongs to us is taken away. Much like Adam and Eve, when we take our eyes off the Designer and focus on the measure of me and what I am going to gain, we immediately lose sight of the promises that come through the union of Grace and Truth.
One of my favorite authors, Bill Gillham, writes about it so well in his book Lifetime Guarantee.
Stop fighting it, brother. Give up all your “rights”–all talents, all abilities, all gifts, all the things you’ve clung to to get your need met for self-acceptance. You’ll love the results! You will find “life” through allowing Him to express Himself through your talents, your abilities, your fights, and your personality to a hurting world to do His will. That’s the way Jesus walked. He let the Father do it through Him. (p. 201)
Thank you, Lord Jesus, that I don’t have to think that what I feel is rightfully mine is being squandered. But instead, I can know that what I have is everything because you live within me!