Michael Youssef - Antidote to Pride
The only people who do not have pride are those who have died. Every human being is created with pride, now do we call it ego in the psychological world, or whatever the name of it is, it is what it is. So, the question is, is my pride out of control or is it under the control of God the Holy Spirit? That is the difference. It's not that somebody has pride and the other one doesn't have pride, we all have pride, is it an unbridled pride, or is it a controlled, sanctified pride under the Holy Spirit? You see, unbridled pride, listen carefully, manifests itself in anger, jealousy, envy, and being critical of others.
In fact, unbridled pride leads to lying, loneliness, and self-pity. Unbridled pride can also lead to self-loathing and constantly being self-conscious. Pride that is not under the control of the Holy Spirit is constantly asking, "How do others perceive me? What impression am I making on others? How can I get people to take notice of me"? And on and on and on and on. Listen to me, pride at its deepest root is wanting to be accepted by others, but the godly, sanctified pride, recognizing the fact that I owe everything to God, that I am filled with gratitude and thanksgiving for the one who gave me everything. I give God the full credit for every gift I have, for every achievement, and every accomplishment. And this is not something you do once and you move on, this is something you do every day, and as I've been suggesting, first thing in the morning.
Day after day after day, and, beloved, that's where the praise-filled life comes in. Please hear me right, praising God is the greatest antidote to a runaway pride. Praising God is the best medicine for an out-of-control pride. Praising God is the best answer to all of the grief and the sorrow that can be created by an injured pride. Beloved, listen to me, the Scripture is filled with examples of unsanctified pride, and that unsanctified pride had led to a disaster not only for the person, but sometimes for everybody around, including nations. Nebuchadnezzar, the emperor of Babylon, he had unbridled pride, and he turned into an animal.
Uzziah, King Uzziah of Judah, good guy, did good things, but he allowed his pride to run wild and cause the destruction of Judah as well as his own destruction. I could go on and on and on, but this morning I want to use only two examples, two examples of two people. One had his pride under control, the other one did not. So, to give you the background, biblical background to what I'm gonna be talking about, King David, you remember King Saul died, King David was sworn in to office, become the king of Israel. He unified the nation, and the first executive order King David assigned was to bring the ark of the covenant from the Philistine land where it was, they stole it, and to bring it back to Jerusalem.
Now, the ark is really, when you think about it, and "The Raiders of the Lost Ark" sort of popularized it, but it's really a very small box, contained the original Ten Commandments that were given by God to Moses, has the Aaron's staff and also had a jar of manna, so it's to remind them of God's provision in the wilderness. Now, the ark of the covenant is a symbol, just like the Lord's table is a symbol, it's symbolic, and whenever the ark was there, is a symbol of the fact that God is present in Israel, it's a symbolic thing. Does it mean when the ark is gone, God is not present? No, but it is symbolic. In their mind, it's a symbol of the presence of God.
So, what happened? The group surround the land of Israel, saw how the ark of the covenant bringing Israel victory, and they make such fuss about it, the ark of the covenant, the ark of the covenant, take it with them before they go to any war, and then they have victory. So, they said, "Ah, we can hijack that ark, and we have the victory". And so, when the ark went to the land of Philistine, what happened? It wasn't a blessing, it was a curse. They were cursed by the presence of the ark of the covenant in their country. So they were happily want to return it, and David issued the order, it has to come.
Here's what happened. In coming of the ark of the covenant back to Jerusalem, King David ordered a national celebration and praise of the Lord God almighty. He wanted to praise Yahweh for all of his goodness, for all his mercy, but especially for allowing him to have the ark of the covenant back, national praise of God was allowing them to bring the ark of the covenant back, and David appointed musicians, he appointed instrumentalists, he appointed singers to begin the celebration of publicly praise God, publicly, publicly praise God. Ah, during the celebration, David got so carried away, I mean, really got carried away in the praising of God, in the honor of God, in blessing the name of God that he did the unthinkable. Not the unthinkable in the eyes of everybody else, it's the unthinkable in the eyes of his wife, Michal.
Now, let me tell you about Michal in case you've forgotten who she was. Michal, David's wife, was the daughter of Saul, King Saul. Listen to me, Michal was her father's daughter, you understand what I'm talking about? Michal inherited her father's self-centered pride, Michal inherited her father's poor, pathetic, insecure self-image, and so, what was that unthinkable that the king did? It's unthinkable in her own eyes, David got so carried away in the praise of God, David was so exuberant in the praising of God, David got so excited in the praising of God, King David took off his royal robe, tossed it out, probably, before Yahweh, in the praise of Yahweh. And he danced before the Lord with all his might.
Now, if you'll turn with me in your Bibles to 2 Samuel, chapter 6, verse 14, here's what it says, 2 Samuel 6:14, 2 Samuel 6:14, "David danced before the LORD with all," can you say all? "All his might". Well, what does that mean? What does that mean, danced before the Lord with all his might? David has forgotten who he is now that he's king. He's forgotten, he really didn't, but you understand. And he's forgotten who's watching, that everybody's looking at him. He danced before the Lord as if he's all alone with God. David was so overwhelmed with the goodness of God that he could not find words to express his praise to God.
Now, think about this, man man who wrote some of the most magnificent poetry, the man who wrote some of the most magnificent prayers, the man who wrote the some of the most significant psalms, he is now without word, speechless. So much so that he stripped himself of his dignity as king, why? To the honor of his Lord, to the praiseworthiness of his Lord, in adoration and thanksgiving for the grace of the Lord. The last thing on his mind was his own honor, his own dignity, or even his own position as a king. All he could think of was the glory of God. The praiseworthiness of God. But then enter her majesty Queen Michal.
Phew, first of all, she was not in the celebration. She was not participating in the praising of God. She was not even giving a helping hand with what's going on, no, no, no, no, she was watching from her window. And when she saw what she saw her husband, King David, doing, she was livid, livid. All she can think of was, "Just wait till he comes home, ooh ee, just wait till I get hold of him". Queen Michal was waiting for King David, not to bless him, not to thank God for him, not to say, "How great that you honored God and you didn't care about who's watching," no, no, no, no, no, she had both guns, both barrels of both guns loaded, and as soon as he got through the door, she, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang. Phew, see, Michal's pride was running wild, was really running wild.
And that is why she had a terrible, sick self-image and insecurity. I want young people now to listen to me, okay? Teenagers or not teenagers, all young people, listen to me. There is a difference between biblically healthy self-image and a sick self-image. I want to tell you the difference so you understand. A biblically healthy self-image says, "I know that I am by birth and by nature fallen, have a depraved mind, and I'm prone to sin, but the King of all kings, the King of the universe, when I repented of my sins, he adopted me into his family, he gave me his last name, he forgave me all of my sins past, present, and future, and he has given me an unearned, an undeserved grace. He appointed me as an ambassador of the King in my campus," wherever you are.
Now, beloved, that is a biblically healthy self-image, and that's all the confidence you need. It will give you all the confidence you need. Now, a sick self-image says, "I'm very important in my own eyes. I may have some problems, but I will not let anybody know about them. I feel terrible about myself, but, oh, I will not let anyone get close enough to me to see this. I am going to project an image of myself that I want people to see. I am gonna keep that mask on, and no one is gonna let me take it off".
Now, beloved, I believe with all my heart, God can heal a sick self-image, God can redeem a sick self-image, God can transform a sick self-image, God can change me, who's changed me, can change you, and he can change you from the inside out. But all has to begin with confession and repentance and humility before God. Skip down, go down to verse 20, 2 Samuel 6:20. I want to show you an example of a sick self-image in Queen Michal. Here's how she did it. "How is the king of Israel distinguished himself today"?
See, I'm blowing it up so you can see it. "Disrobing himself of his royal robe in front of the servants? This is how a low-class vulgar man would do". Of course, the Bible only gives us a summary of what she said, you see, it doesn't tell us everything. But here I'm gonna take some liberty, because growing up in the Middle East, I am closer to the culture than you realize. "You grew up as a poor shepherd boy, but I grew up in the palace". It's in Hebrew, of course, not in English.
See, that's what a sick self-image does, either forgets its roots or deliberately deny its roots. She didn't say anything about the fact that when prophet Samuel found her father and made him king, he was only a donkey keeper, and a lousy one at that. Oh, that's just the past, I'm not gonna get back to my roots, I'm not gonna let anybody see that. He lost the donkeys that he's supposed to be taking care of when Samuel met him. She probably said to him, "Your family, a bunch of yahoos, but I was brought up in the palace protocol".
Her out-of-control pride not only prevented her from joy of participating in the praise of the Lord, but her out of control pride robbed her of the blessings that can only come from praising God. And she wanted to impose her misery on her husband. David's response is classic, is really a classic response, but I want you also to get the Youssef translation. I think David, if he spoke English, he would've said, "Protocol, my foot," did you get that? "Protocol is the last thing that concerns me! I am made for the praise of the Lord. I am made to worship my God, I am made to honor my Lord, I am made for the praise of his glory. And furthermore, God honored me for honoring him first and foremost".
Pride that is not under the control of the Holy Spirit has robbed many-a-people of the joy of praise and a praise-filled life. And the first thing you need to do is, if you wanna develop a praise-filled life, you need to come clean with God, you need to come clean with God. Surrendering your intellect, surrendering your feelings, and yes, surrendering your will. And then you do the same thing all over again every single morning. That, my beloved friend, is the sacrifice of praise. It was a... thought about, well, why does the Bible call it the sacrifice of praise? I just get up and sing, you know, that kind of thing, that's because we don't understand what a praise-filled life is.
Now, beloved, in many ways, praise is a sacrifice. It's a sacrifice, and that's why the Bible call it the sacrifice of praise. You say, well, why is that? Why is it a sacrifice? Because praise, genuine praise, costs us something. Genuine thanksgiving and praise to God costs us our pride. It does, genuine praise-filled life costs us the self-made label, you know what I'm talking about? Praise costs us our own self-importance, praise costs us our own self-sufficiency. Praise requires us to say to the Lord, Lord, I yield all my possessions, I yield all my dreams, I yield all my goals, Lord, I yield all of my relationships. Lord, I yield my all, my all, my all, my all.