"A man's pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit" (Proverbs 29:23).
The snow was gently falling as we sat down to enjoy our Christmas Eve supper of soup, sandwiches, and cookies. The candles were lit, and the light from the flickering flames made each homemade Christmas ornament hanging from the windows twinkle. The house was cozy and warm from a full day of cooking, and the fragrant aromas tantalized our taste buds. Four young faces were eagerly anticipating opening their Christmas gifts after the meal, and my husband and I smiled in satisfaction at God's blessings. With Grandpa and Grandma's arrival earlier that afternoon, the perfect Christmas scene was now complete.
I had worked so hard to make everything just right and wanted to impress my in-laws with a memorable Christmas. I had made this meal many times and felt confident as I dished out the two different choices of soup: chili or broccoli-cheese. As we closed our eyes and my husband offered a prayer of thanks to God, I looked down at my bowl. I couldn't believe my eyes. There, swimming on top of my broccoli soup, were a dozen gnat-like bugs. I whispered to myself in agony, "Where did they come from?" Then, I remembered. I had forgotten to wash the broccoli before putting it into the soup. I could feel my heart sink with embarrassment even before my husband finished his prayer. This was going to be a memorable Christmas, all right, especially for my mother-in-law who had just been served buggy, broccoli soup.
Many times our motives for wanting things are so wrong. We want to impress instead of bless, and pride is waiting to bring us to our knees. What about your petitions? Are you selfishly asking God for things just to make you look good? If you're doing most of the talking during your prayer time with God, there may be a problem. Let the Holy Spirit correct your attitude today and don't wait to be served your cup of humble soup. "Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished" (Proverbs 16:5).
Lord, this Christmas, give me the same attitude that was in Christ Jesus when He emptied Himself to be born a man and die for my sins. Teach me again how to be a servant and care more about others than myself. In Jesus' name, Amen.