Have you ever said to yourself, either verbally or mentally:
In light of a problem: “I’ve got this. I can handle it by myself.”
Or after an accomplishment: “I did it myself with no help from anyone!”
Those statements may indicate a self-opinion that is too high. The truth is we can’t—don’t—do anything without the help of God. He is our breath and life.
God who gives you the breath of life and controls your destiny!
Daniel 5:23 NLT
And He (God) is not served by human hands, as if He needed anything.
Rather, He Himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else…
For in Him we live and move and have our being.
Acts 17:25 and 28 NIV
The ‘puffed up’ attitude can become a habitual part of our lives. The way to counter a self-opinion that is too high is to compare ourselves with God as His Word describes Him, and us. The benefit to this for me (and hopefully for you) is that it reminds me (us) of how great God is and still how loving He is toward us. It is humbling to realize that:
All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the Word of the Lord endures forever.
I Peter 1:24,25
Let’s look at just a few other Scriptures that will help us balance our self-image with His Truth:
I am — “a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”
James 4:14 ESV
God is — “from everlasting to everlasting You are God.”
I am accountable — “So then each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.
God is — “…the great God, the great King above all gods.”
God is our Creator; we are His creation. Do you see in just these few verses what a vast difference there is? We can’t be God, but that is the lie which an inflated self-opinion would lead us to believe, whether we are aware of it or not. (Remember Satan’s fall as told in Isaiah 14:12-15.) Instead the truth is that we need God. We need His guidance. Without Him, our life and our accomplishments don’t amount “to a hill of beans” (a trifling value).
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked.
Lord, I know that people’s lives are not their own; it is not for them to direct their steps.
An inflated self-image is a dangerous trap. Look at some of the verses from the end of the chapter that point this out:
Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
The Lord Almighty has a day in store for all the proud and lofty…they will be humbled.
‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’
Submit yourselves, then to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
James 4:6,7 ESV
Hmmm, if I’m correct, that last Scripture (in James chapter 4) is saying that pride, arrogance, too-high a self-image are each sin that we should run from. Ouch! Okay I get it. This is not just some little hiccup in our personality. This is a sin, a wedge that will separate us from God. I want to get rid of that, how about you!? This next Scripture is our guide to help us correct our self-image to line up with God’s image of and plan for us:
Come near to God, and He will come near to you.
Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts…
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.
Praise God, He loves us enough to point out the areas we need to change, and then shows us exactly how to do it.
We are, after all, fallen and flawed. We are like the sheep in Isaiah 53:6, we “…have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way….” But the Good News is that God is the Giver of life! (Psalm 36:9, NCV). Jesus knows His sheep, and as we humble ourselves more and more to Him we hear and know His voice and we follow Him.
The One who enters by the gate is the Shepherd of the sheep…
and the sheep listen to His voice.
He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out…
and His sheep follow Him because they know His voice.
So instead of being in the dangerous position of a self-opinion that is too high, and will surely cause us to wander “off the cliff of pride,” let’s humble ourselves before our God Almighty. Let’s continue to listen to His voice, to follow Him, and get rid of the high self-opinions He sees as sin. He is Our Good Shepherd who wants only the best for us, His sheep.
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Dear Lord God Almighty, we humble ourselves before You today. We ask You, Lord, to show us any sin of a “self-opinion too high.” Thank You for Your Word that not only reveals our sins, but also reveals Who You are, who we are in Your sight, and just how much You love us. We want to repent of pride today and receive Your forgiveness. We want to know Your voice and follow You because You are our Good Shepherd Who loves us and wants only the best for us, Your sheep. Thank You. In Jesus Name, Amen.