On Sunday, Pastor Josh read a powerful quote from John Piper:
Boasting is the response of pride to success.
Self-pity is the response of pride to suffering.
Boasting says, “I deserve admiration because I have achieved so much.”
Self-pity says, “I deserve admiration because I have suffered so much.”
Boasting is the voice of pride in the heart of the strong.
Self-pity is the voice of pride in the heart of the weak.
Boasting sounds self-sufficient.
Self-pity sounds self-sacrificing.
The reason self-pity does not look like pride is that it appears to be so needy. But the need arises from a wounded ego. It doesn’t come from a sense of unworthiness, but from a sense of unrecognized worthiness. It is the response of unapplauded pride.
This quote penetrates the soul (i know it convicts me). If i’m saying, “woe is me” or “look at me” doesn’t matter, the same thing is motivating me every time: pride! And either way, i’m making more fuss about myself than i am making about my supremely worthy God.
How about you? Do you default towards “woe is me” or “look at me”? How is the sweet truth of the gospel changing how you reckon your identity in Christ? And what are the practical ways your position in God through Christ is impacting your day to day battle with pride?
And by the way, that really solid quote from John Piper is found in his really really solid book, Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist. The book is very deep and can be tough sledding, but it is well worth the effort. However, if you cannot see yourself ever reading a 368 page book… first, try to read it anyway. Second, check out John Piper’s more concise version of Desiring God with a lot of the same content, The Dangerous Duty of Delight: Daring to Make God Your Greatest Desire. Both of these books are available, at cost, at our corporate gathering space in the Redemption Church bookstore.