Swollen with Pride

Thursday, June 30, 2022
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Scripture: "Behold the proud, His soul is not upright in him; But the just shall live by his faith.  Habakkuk 2:4 (NKJV)

Observation: As an introduction to the woeful taunt-songs Habakkuk was instructed to record, God gave His summary condemnation of the conceited character of the Babylonian: He is puffed up. Like a bloated toad, these arrogant people hopped along toward destruction. They were swollen with evil passions. Their desires were not upright. (Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1985). The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.)

Application: The image that is painted in the above commentary is very interesting: “Like a bloated toad, these arrogant people hopped along toward destruction.”  When two people marry, there is a normal, automatic tension.  Each person, because of their family of origin, tends to want to pull his/her spouse in the direction in which they were raised. . . they want to live in the way they were accustomed to, to follow the patterns they observed in their family as they were growing up.  When those patterns were good and healthy, that can be a good, solid basis for building a new home.  The problems begin when one or both partners had faulty, or even unhealthy families of origin and each wants the other to follow the same patterns.  Tension and conflict will be the result.
     The next issue that normally arises our of that tension, and conflict, is an unwillingness to recognize wrongdoing.  Pride takes over and one or neither is willing to admit that those patterns set during their upbringing are bad.  They feel that if the other person is not willing to accept their family of origin’s patterns they are in reality attacking them, or at the very least rejecting them.  They rise up to defend their family and initiate an attack on their partner’s family.
     While this tension, and resulting conflict, are natural in the process of adapting to life together, the biggest issue arises when one or both are unwilling to recognize their contribution to their problems and proudly stand their ground, even if it is not good, or even if it’s detrimental to the relationship.  “Like a bloated toad, these arrogant people hop along toward destruction.”  Consciously or unconsciously they run toward the precipice taking their family with them until they plunge together into the death of their relationship.
     Habakkuk offers a much better solution for you and for your family: “The just shall live by his faith.”  Set aside pride and arrogance and live with the knowledge of God’s presence in your life and in your marriage and learn to depend on Him to help you form a healthy relationship.  When the horizon looks dark, let Him be your sunshine.  When the ground seems shaky, let Him be your rock.  When the storms of conflict and strife arrive in your marriage, let Him come and bring you peace.  Instead of hopping along toward the destruction of your marriage, walk with God by faith so you and your family will have life, and life abundant.

A Prayer You May Say: Father God, come live in our lives, in our marriage, in our family and eradicate all pride and sin from our relationship that we may live and not die.

Used by permission of Adventist Family Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.

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