Spiritual Pride (Part Three)

 

 

“Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies.”  (1 Thessalonians 5:19-20 ESV)

 

 

I have discovered that there is a fine line between spiritual insight that is given and used for God’s purpose because of the understanding the Spirit gives to certain people, and spiritual pride that might come into a person because of this insight.  The tipping point is close to the edge and there needs to be a caution if He gives you such insight.  Why is this? We not only lose the blessing of being an instrument of encouragement in God’s hand to lift someone up and be a messenger from Him to that person, we could also cause emotional and spiritual damage to someone if we misuse it.  I have seen gossip and slander, in the “name of praying to Jesus for someone,” become a spiritual license to hurt and wound while doing it, “in the name of Jesus.”  Let’s be clear and put a right identity on this practice.  Gossip and slander are inspired and shared …, “in the name of Satan,” and not Jesus.  But there are times that God’s insight given to a good steward of His gift of understanding can be used to turn someone in a right direction.

 

I feel a great sorrow when the Spirit’s insight is misused, and once again I must use myself as an example of abusing a gift that could be used in a good and right way.  I do believe many of God’s children love Him dearly and as far as they know they don’t have spiritual pride, only great concern with those who are missing the great blessings God could give to someone if they could see and remove hindrances that keep His blessings away.  There is loving discernment to see this and want to help. There are times that this discernment enters a life through our efforts and gently leads a person to the place of restoration, healing and spiritual wellness.  But there are times that this insight is not used for someone but rather against someone, and it quenches the Spirit as a result.

 

Some time ago I felt God giving me insight into some people and wrong practices with regard to Influencers’ health as a ministry.  I saw it as an attack against the purity, purpose and mission of the ministry, which we call DNA. I believe this insight was given from God to me as the leader to protect it, but not to go to war against a foe  with it. To that point all was good, for a leader needs insight and wisdom.  What was bad was the way I handled the knowledge.  Instead of the fruit of the Spirit being my guide to gently influence these people back to where He wanted us, I became my own guide and allowed my spiritual pride to enter in.  Thank God He didn’t allow me to express what I was really feeling.  Instead He allowed me to feel His grief, as my anger quenched His Spirit.  My anger was turned against myself.  I felt His displeasure.  I saw what was happening, and I’m learning from just such instances that have occurred since then to stop, pray and wait for the right time to act, if I must. This is an example how His insight can be misused or used correctly.  When we misuse it at the core of it is, …. Spiritual Pride.

 

I would caution any and all of you to not allow spiritual pride to disarm you and disable you from the great work God could do through you.  Don’t quench His Spirit in your life.  If you are given spiritual insight into someone’s mistakes or habits, don’t use it against that person with slander and gossip.  Use it for him or her by truly asking Jesus to bless them and help them. Be an encourager to someone pointing them toward good, but don’t see yourself as the standard they need to shoot for.  Rather, help them see Jesus as the standard and you are simply a steward of His insight into them to bless them and help them.

 

As I present these thoughts to you on spiritual pride, I close with a verse that speaks words that I feel but cannot say as well as Apostle Paul said them.  Maybe they will help you understand how I feel about myself as I share on the subject of combating spiritual pride?  If I could this is what I would say:

 

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.” (Philippians 3:12 ESV)