I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. John 15:5
The besetting sin in my own life has been the sin of pride. I don’t think I am necessary alone in that. One of my recently retired colleagues, a legendary preacher in our area, confessed that he suffered from the same temptation. To all of us out there today, the tribe of the prideful, this one is for you.
It is healthy to look back on our accomplishments or on those of the ones we love and feel good about them. The mistake we make is in assuming that those good works somehow reflect well upon us. Rather than seeing the activity of God in our lives, we somehow see our “excellence” as having saved God from a situation He had gotten Himself into.
Instead of the deliverance of God we see our own strength.
Instead of the provision of God we see our own hard work and ingenuity.
Instead of the Spirit of God we see our own skill and expertise.
Instead of the love of God we see our own compassion and empathy.
Instead of the forgiveness of God we see our own magnanimity.
Instead of the wisdom of God we see our own intelligence.
Let us agree, brothers and sisters, that without the Lord we do no good thing. Without Him we are weak, indolent, useless, hard hearted, unforgiving, and foolish.
The Lord will graciously give us moments of clarity, usually in times of illness or helplessness when our need so far exceeds our own resources that we are forced back to our Master for help. How much more blessed to live walking in reality every day. How cool it would be to live our lives in gracious humility, acknowledging God’s power and goodness in every blessing we receive.
Never exalt in being a branch. Glory in the Vine who produces all good things in you.