Distracting Pride

Paul writes: How grateful I am and how I praise the Lord that you are helping me again. I know you have always been anxious to send what you could, but for a while you didn't have the chance. Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of contentment in every situation, whether it be a full stomach or hunger, plenty or want, for I can do everything God asks me to with the help of Christ who gives me strength and power. But even so, you have done right in helping me in my present difficulty.

As you well know, when I first brought the Gospel to you and then went on my way, leaving Macedonia, only you Philippians became my partners in giving and receiving. No other church did this. Even when I was over in Thessalonica you sent help twice. But though I appreciate your gifts, what makes me happiest is the well-earned reward you will have because of your kindness.

At the moment I have all I need - more than I need! I am generously supplied with the gifts you sent me when Epaphroditus came. They are a sweet-smelling sacrifice that pleases God well. and it is he who will supply all your needs from his riches in glory, because of what Christ Jesus has done for us.

Philippians 4:10-19 (TLB)

A. Mattingly is from Texas. During his first backpacking trip, he wasn't far into the trek up the mountain before he realized that he had grossly overpacked. As he struggled, he saw a member from their group, whom he had yet to meet, coming back down the path toward him. "Please, Lord, just let him wave and pass by." Nope. He stopped dead in front of him with his hand outstretched, saying, "Hello, I'm Jay. Would you like me to carry your pack?" His mind screamed yes, but his lips uttered, "No, thanks. I've got this." His pride was totally opposed to accepting help. Jay turned, and they climbed together. When Jay continued to ask if he could carry his load, A. finally relented.

A. had prayed for strength, but God had something else in mind. Sometimes receiving God's provision requires a sacrifice on our part like giving up our pride in self-reliance. this sacrifice is not for God's benefit but for our own. When we are no longer distracted, burdened with guilt, or full of pride, our ears and hearts are more open to God. Then we are free to sense God's message in the words of a song, see God's plan in the order of nature, or feel an unexplained peace deep within us during a crisis.

Prayer: Dear God, help us to release our pride so that we may trust in your provision rather than our own, in Jesus' name, amen.

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