Service Is the Test Of Godliness
It is easy to be conceited. Conceit is an inner attitude in which a person believes, sincerely, that he or she is better than other people. That may be based on physical attributes of beauty or strength, mental attributes of intelligence or knowledge, psychological attributes of resilient will-power, emotional attributes of stability and even spiritual attributes of Bible knowledge or spiritual gifts. Any of these can stir our pride and result in arrogant behaviour which seems quite justified to the conceited person, but obnoxious to the humble observer and to God.
Paul says that the conceited are self-deceived: they tell lies to themselves, about themselves … and they believe them. However they should test their boastful hearts by examining their actions. Have they really been so wonderful? Do their deeds really prove it? Of course, we can always find somebody who we think is inferior to us – which is one reason why conceit is a delusion justified by comparisons; however, compared to God even our best actions are morally filthy (Isaiah 64:6).
The antidote to conceit is service. Learn to serve, work hard obeying God and meeting the needs of others. Each of us has a God-given load of humble service to carry – bear it well, endure it, and rejoice when you suffer dented pride, because self-deception is being dealt a body blow. A job done well, with the right motive and giving praise to God is good. But it is God who judges us, not ourselves or any other human being. We need to be aware that our motives behind every act of spiritual service are also transparent to God (2 Corinthians 4:2). So in the light of this, let's ask the Lord how He wants us to serve Him and choose to fulfil that role faithfully to His glory, instead of fulfilling our own dreams to our own glory.
© Dr Paul Adams