VANITY AND PRIDE
Vanity and Pride, Dan Mayfield
Some things are hard to overcome. The vanity and pride of youth are examples of this. Like a stowaway on a ship, it may seem they are no longer part of our Christian lives but they can spring up later in life if we are not vigilant to eradicate them from our heart and mind. We may think they were overcome but truthfully we allowed them to remain. This is dangerous because they may rise up some day to devour us like a beast from the abyss.
As we age we may begin to wonder what we should do so we get the respect we deserve. After all, men want their life to have meant something. The “mid-life crisis” is driven by things that have been buried for a long time. Maybe a new job with bigger pay would do the trick. For me personally, I’m pretty happy with the job I have and there are plenty of challenges. And shouldn’t I be more concerned with the reward of being pleasing to the Lord (2 Cor. 5:9)? Looking in the mirror I notice the awesome hair of my youth is nearly gone and I’m left with thin and graying. Maybe hair transplants? No, I don’t think so. The problem with vain thinking is that it diverts the eyes from looking at the heart and seeing the me that God’s sees.
When vanity pops up and you are saying, “I’m a handsome devil. Look how beautiful my hair is, and my body is so very strong”, remember that God is probably rolling His eyes. Also remember that these things appeal to vain people and that spiritual people see them as a facade. When you aren’t getting the accolades you think you deserve so that you are ready to erupt and shout “Respect Me!”, don’t forget that God exalts the humble.
Each of us may have those passing moments, perhaps they are temptations, where they are dissatisfied that their service to the Lord goes unnoticed and unrewarded. That’s a good time to tell the devil to step back and shut up. That’s a good time to remember we were called by Jesus to be a servant. Like Paul, the best thing that can be said about us is that, “He was a clay pot, an earthen vessel for the Lord”, (2 Cor. 4:7).
Only when we have dispensed of vanity and pride can our lives be truly meaningful. The gates of heaven are set too low for the proud and vain to enter.
Said with love, Dan