#Gafartawa in Hausa means ‘Forgiveness’ – The one that has been ‘forgiven much loveth much; but the one has been forgiven little loveth little’ (Luke 7:47). It is not our ability to love and forgive that proves that we are christians; it is rather the revelation of who Christ is that allows us to love and forgive – Remain blessed in the Lord.
Who finds it productive to run to a disney produced fiction film based on a comedy for children to gain self-worth, ethnic pride and identity? Who finds it productive to agree with stances such as ‘why I’m no longer speaking to white people’ about race? Who finds it fashionable to pick and choose what offends them to suit their own worldview? Answer: Prideful people. The problems of this world is down to pride. The problem of pride is so widespread yet so chronic – that to repent of pride the likely answer to all our problems. Looking down at others, being shocked at the actions of others, even the faintest dust of self-value and self-worth can be attributed to: pride. In the words of C. S. Lewis: The more we have in it ourselves; the more we hate it in others.
But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4.6)
The biblical definition of pride is to look down upon a human race which you belong to. To elevate yourself as something worthy; and to refuse to bow to the worthiness of the Eternal Triune God that made us. Statements such as ‘I have lost faith in humanity’ and ‘I can’t believe people can be so evil’ will follow. This usually evolves from a mindset where one believes the world must conform to his or her feelings or where one has elevated himself or herself to look down upon a group that they themselves belong to – human beings.
Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. (Prod 16.18)
To be surprised at the wickedness of human evil (both at present and within past history) can also be a form of pride. Yes – there might be some genuine ignorance or a lack of information out there which one chooses not to investigate – but pride must be nearby. Pride is what frustrates us about the wickedness of others. Pride is what blinds us to see the hell deserving nature of our own hearts and own souls. Pride is what makes us pick and choose what makes us angry. Pride is what makes us filled with complaints. Sounds harsh. But biblically and spiritually it’s true. The socially savvy, moderately religious & outwardly pious Pharisee in his prayer towards God looked on at the evil in this world and thanked God that he is not like ‘them’ in Luke 18. A bit like our socially savvy, moderately religious and outwardly pious…. tweeters & bloggers & social justice warriors today. The despised and broken tax collector in his prayer towards God not only said ‘Lord I am like them – Lord I am the worst of them! Have mercy upon me a sinner!’ He couldn’t even look up – he beat his chest and he couldn’t even look up.
Before destruction a man’s heart is haughty, but humility comes before honour. (Prov 18.12)
Dear friend; just a snippet of a revelation of who this King is and His Love for you will leave you profoundly and joyfully and willingly seeking to be dependant upon Him for the rest of your life. Before destruction; one’s heart is filled with pride indeed. Pride will make you blind to your total depravity. Pride will make you blind to His Supreme Holiness & All-Suffiency. Pride will also make your itching ears yearn for the next debate of the fallen nature of others. You will worship the wrongdoings of others. And you will also worship your anger of these wrongdoings. Before destruction one’s heart is filled with pride indeed. This mindset and identity of pride that we read in books, that we like in pictures, that we share on social media and that we see in the eyes of our reflection of the mirror is not only what we’re being fed but it is innately who we are. The more we have it in ourselves; the more we hate it in others – it is pride. And it leads to destruction. A critical spirit and a proud heart hardens a natural unbelief in God – and the eternity of wrath that Christ satisfied at the cross – will be endured by the souls of those boasting of this pride.
A man’s pride will bring him low, But a humble spirit will obtain honour. (Prov 29.23)
But what a blessing that humility comes before honour. For this man and this woman that receives God’s permission to view this verse within his revealed will – what good news! Humility and a humble spirit indeed allows one to obtain honour. Emptied, resentful and dependant on God for His Grace and Mercies – that is honour! ‘Well done good and faithful servant – you have been faithful over a few things – I will make you ruler over many’ (Matt 25.23) – to hear these words echoed in our ears by the Father above – that is honour! To be redeemed and understanding that – He Loves you. To be redeemed and understanding – not that you deserve better – but far far worse but for His Grace. To be redeemed, emptied and broken ‘poor in spirit’ (Matt 5.3) like a good quality glass smashed on a pavement then carefully and meticulously crafted together again in His Will, His Timing and to His Glory.
‘Therefore I tell you, because her many sins have been forgiven, she has loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.’ (Luke 7.47)
If God did not act for His own glory; we wouldn’t even exist – do you realise that? Neither would I. Why? Because He didn’t need to make us. He wasn’t lonely. It was His self-seeking – It was His seeking after His own glory that brought about our existence. The world should be grey, horrid, insipid and smile-free. There should be nothing of beauty, nothing of Grace and no leaves on trees – nothing. The question is not why do bad things happen to good people; the question is why does anything good happen at all? There shouldn’t be babies being born, there shouldn’t be people rejoicing, there shouldn’t be weddings and leaves about to spring out on trees in another month. There shouldn’t be birthday celebrations, there shouldn’t be gift hampers, there shouldn’t be special photos that bring water-stained eyes and reminiscent special memories of loved ones and valuable occasions – everything should be bad. There shouldn’t be wellbeing. The only reason that there is wellbeing is that God is seeking His own Glory and proving His Goodness to wicked and prideful men.
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom. (Prov 11.2)
It is my prayer for you that the Good Lord will open mine eyes and your eyes to His Holiness and our lowliness. A humble spirit will obtain honour indeed. The wider of your revelation of how High he is; the wider your revelation of how low He came to save us. Our sinful pride and prideful sin is as deep as the grave – but His Grace is deeper still. In the words of Michael Card:
That is the mystery
More than you can see
Give up on your pondering
And fall down on your knees
It’s either we live a life of piled up forgiveness or we live a life of piled up unforgiveness. God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. The the unbeliever; it’s my uncovered desire the Lord and the word of the Lord will pierce your heart and the the chronic bondage of your will and that it will be subdued by the revelation of His Majesty producing to a godly sorrow that leads to salvation without regret (2 Cor 7.10). Believer; be encouraged to pray that the Lord will widen your understanding of the sheer weight of your sin that has been further outweighed by the sheer force of His Love so that you will be ‘forgiven much’ and able to ‘loveth much’.
OTHER BLOG POSTS:
WHAT’S YOUR VIEWS? COMMENT BELOW | WANNA STAY IN TOUCH? FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER VIA @GAFARTAWA | FURTHER ENQUIRIES? EMAIL ME VIA GAFARTAWABLOG@GMAIL.COM | GAFARTAWA IN HAUSA MEANS ‘FORGIVENESS’ | TO ‘PRODUCE FRUIT IN KEEPING WITH REPENTANCE’ (MATT 3.8); IT IS MY PRAYER THAT GOD WILL GIVE ME AND YOU THE GRACE TO UNDERSTAND WHAT THIS MEANS. AMIN.