Pride and thankfulness are not two attributes that we often consider directly relational. But upon closer examination, we can see that pride is the root of all sin and thankfulness keeps pride in its rightful place: un-birthed. But how does pride and thankfulness affect our relationship with God? And more importantly, how do these attributes make Him feel? Well, He’s not silent on the issue. But first, we must understand who He is and how much He values us.
God is transcendent. He is far above His creation in power and glory. Yet, He still cares for us intimately.
Even the lowliest of all His creations, even a single bird, cannot fall to the ground without God knowing. We are far more valuable to Him than those birds that He watches so intently (Matthew 10:29-31).
What can cause the distance between ourselves and God that we often times feel? What could cause God to distance Himself from His very own creation that He loves so dearly?
Pride. Psalm 138:6 states, “Though the LORD is great, He cares for the humble, but He keeps his distance from the proud.” James 4:6 says, “But He gives us more and more grace (power of the Holy Spirit, to meet this evil tendency and all others fully). That is why He says, God sets Himself against the proud and haughty, but gives grace [continually] to the lowly (those who are humble enough to receive it).”
The very thing that caused Satan to be cast out of Heaven is the thing that causes us to be viewed from afar by our Father. When we want to hear, see, and feel His presence, pride creates a canyon between ourselves and the Lord. We’re left with less of His presence than we desire and a lack of fullness of joy.
So what’s the remedy to bridge this detachment from our Father? Thankfulness.
First Thessalonians 5:18 states, “Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will].”
You’re probably saying, “Okay Tyler, so I’m supposed to be thankful, but what’s that got to do with pride?”
Pride causes a division between yourself and God. Thankfulness helps mend that gap, drawing you closer into His presence.
You can’t be proud and thankful at the same time because true thankfulness requires true humility. The door way to God’s throne room is low-arching. If you try to approach His throne high and mighty, you’ll reach the other side decapitated. One can only approach the throne of God lowly and humble in spirit.
When thankful, you practice humility (which both Scriptures above state is needed for intimacy with the Lord). When you pray to the Lord out of thankfulness, you initiate a process that begins to change you from the inside out. When you’re thankful, your soul can rest in peace. In addition to killing pride, when your prayer life of thankfulness is walked out consistently, you are now confident that the same God who provided for all your needs before will show up and provide again. Thankfulness grows our faith and hope in the Lord.
Thankfulness replaces the pride in your heart with a corrected perspective and order. It’s all about God, not you. Pride is a self-inflicted wound. It’s a dangerous thief that we allow in our hearts to steal, kill, and destroy us. The good news is that you have the power, through His grace, to rid yourself of it and reestablish your fellowship with the Lord. If you’ve felt distant from the Lord, ask yourself if pride may have something to do with it (it does). Repent, accept the Lord’s forgiveness, and walk in the victory that is yours (Romans 8:1-2).