You would think that loving God in the good times would be easy.
After all, thousands of books and articles are written to strengthen Christians who are going through trials. Why? Because it is hard to find light when everything seems dark. It is difficult not to despair when hope seems like a daydream.
Because of this, you would think that when Christians receive blessings, they would automatically respond with thankfulness. You would think that they would trust God more, be humbled, and be more willing to serve.
I wish that were true.
However, I have seen that in “good times” I am even more prone to selfishness and pride than in hard times!
Last year was the most difficult one of my life—it was riddled with relationship struggles, financial problems, unemployment, health problems, and trying to find God after I walked away from Him.
This year has been the exact opposite so far. I graduated from community college, had a peaceful summer, experienced success, and received financial blessings and opportunities. Life right now seems like it has reached a high that I never thought was possible.
However, instead of responding with “Thank you, God” I have used my success to boost my own self-image. I have lacked compassion toward others and have grown complacent and comfortable. I have been arrogant and have internally bragged about my gifts as if I were the one that generated them.
Because of this, verses like these smack me like a slap across the face:
“Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12).
“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18).
I don’t want to lose God in earthly blessings. I don’t want to gain the world and lose my soul.
However, when the lure of success and glory and health and wealth are so near, faith fades out of the picture. By myself, I can’t keep my focus straight.
How then am I supposed to fight pride in seasons of blessing?
Here are a couple things I have learned.
1. Pray — all the time.
Every time you feel arrogance or boasting fill your heart, pray for God to help you see clearly. Ask Him to help you see clearly and not to lose yourself even in His blessings. Pray for Him to correct you when you go astray — even if this leads to another trial.
2. Challenge yourself.
When we are smooth-sailing, it is easy to get comfortable. We can convince ourselves to sit in bed watching Netflix and eating popcorn all day because we are comfortable and the world outside is convicting.
Because of this, it is extra important to challenge yourself to get outside of that comfort zone. Start a new project, work on evangelism, and love someone who doesn’t deserve it. By doing something hard, you will be reminded of where your strength lies, and you won’t waste the good times in self-interest.
3. Keep the Bible handy.
More importantly than just reading it, memorize verses that you can bring to mind when you’re feeling proud. Instead of boosting yourself with wordly phrases about self-esteem and confidence, remind yourself of grace. Think about the Gospel and the God who saved you. A right understanding of the cross usually diffuses pride very quickly.
4. Be around challenging people.
When things are going well, we are tempted to be around people who feed our egos. However, this is the ticket to trapping yourself in the prison of self-congratulation.
Even though it’s difficult to be around those who point out our faults, sometimes those are the people who actually help the most. Instead of just being concerned with our immediate happiness, they are concerned with our eternity. These are the kind of people to count on as prayer warriors, true friends, and accountability partners.
5. Remember the goal.
What is the goal of your life? What even is the goal of the blessings that you have received? When we are able to ask “why?” instead of just thinking about the benefits of good times, we see that we were not blessed to gloat. We were blessed for a reason. I have the education and opportunities I have for a reason. And the reason for that blessing is not just for me.
I believe that God gives us good times for the same reason as He gives us hard times — both show us who we are and who He is. The comfort of each season is that we are loved when we sin, and we have help when we struggle.
Consequently, my prayer in this season is found in the hymn “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.”
“Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it; seal it for Thy courts above.”
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Thanks Brooke. It’s so important that we keep sight of this.
“God gives us the good times for the same reason as he gives us the hard times… The comfort of each season is that we are loved when we sin, and we have help when we struggle.” Very well put, and challenging!
I am glad you enjoyed reading it! 🙂
Brooke, this is such an important reminder. Beautifully written too 🙂 Thank you!
Thank you for your encouragement! 🙂
You are positively welcome, Brooke 🙂
Thanks for commenting! Glad you can relate!
I was just thinking about this, Brooke! Thank you for writing 🙂
Thank you for reading! 🙂 Glad to hear that someone else is thinking about this topic as well!
Awesomeness! I love the truth in that (not to mention your fantastic writing style)!
(P.S. If I ever see you, I will make sure to make you coffee. lol!)
That would make me very happy 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed reading!
Wonderful topic and writing style.
Thank you so much! 🙂
AMEN!! #4 stood out because I hate being wrong and for people to point out where I’m wrong or something I need to work on. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I haven’t arrived. I still have a long ways to go and A LOT to learn!! Anyway, thanks for sharing Brooke!
It’s really painful to be wrong….I hate it too, but I have also seen so much good come out of it in the long run. Keep fighting! 🙂
For some reason I thought about this song:
I LOVE THIS SONG!
IKR!!! *says very excitedly*
Wow, i just listened to this song and i LOVED it! Thanks for posting it 🙂
Wow! Thank you so much for sharing!!!
You’re welcome. It’s one of my top three favs.
May i ask what your other two favorites are? 😉
How He Loves Us by Anthony Evans and The Song of Intercession by William McDowell. You?
You Are More by Tenth Avenue North, Satisfied in You by Brian Eichelburger, (really not sure if i spelled that right :P) and Start Over by Royal Tailor. How He Loves Us is such a great song 🙂
I LOVE TENTH AVENUE NORTH!! I got to see them live! They were great!!
I fell in love with the lead singer, Mike. He’s pretty awesome!!
Lol 😀 I gotta go see them in concert sometime…
I love that song!!
Super encouraging! I struggle with this same thing. Thank you for being open, honest, and letting God use your story to encourage others!
I’m glad you have been encouraged! I feel like I struggle whether things are bad or good, and it’s nice to not be alone! 🙂
Thank yoouuu!!!! I’ve been praying to God to help me keep my eyes on Him. My selfishness has been eating me up but i keep falling into the same trap. I’ve been praying that God will teach me how cause I honestly feel lost on how to keep him in the center. He used your article today to teach me. Thank you, really thank you 🙂
I’ve learned at church that self, which is apart of the old man, has been crucified with Christ. ( Gal. 6:20) God has delivered us from self. We just have to walk in it and just be. Hope that’s liberating for you!! There is still apart of us that’s unredeemed till Christ returns so we have the ability to bring self and the old man back up, but God’s Word says we are to reckon it dead! (Rom. 6:11)
Thanks, I working each and everyday to reckon the old man dead. Thanks for the advice to “just be”. I have to be constantly doing something and just being in Christ is defiantly something I need to work on. #workinprogress 🙂
Welcome!! Me too!!
He’s been teaching me the same things. We’re all in this together! 🙂 Thanks for commenting! It encouraged me 🙂
I’m adding this one to favorites–I need to look back at this frequently! Thanks Brooke!
I like this post… reminds me of Deu. 32! Great!