Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18)
Perhaps you have seen the acronym E.G.O. – “Edging God Out.” This is a problem for all of us, as we all have a tendency to edge God out of our lives . . . or at the very least to confine Him to the circumference of our lives. We do this because we desire to sit upon the throne of our lives. We all, to a certain extent, have believed the lie that Satan used to plunge humanity into sin: “You will be like God” (Genesis 3:5).
In Amadeus, a film about the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, we see Antonio Salieri, an ambitious eighteenth-century composer, uttering this prayer:
Lord, make me a great composer. Let me celebrate Your glory through music and be celebrated myself. Make me famous throughout the world, dear God; make me immortal. After I die, let people speak my name forever with love for what I wrote. In return I will give You my chastity, my industry, my deep humility, my life.
Salieri was a very successful composer, but his skill level never rose to the level of Mozart. He was terribly frustrated by Mozart’s success — Mozart, who lived a debauched life before the face of God. Salieri turned away from God, believing God had betrayed him. He edged God out of his life. In a memorable scene in the movie, Salieri takes a crucifix from the wall of his room and places it in the fire. Selfish ambition blinded Salieri to the good gifts God had given him to be used for the good of others and the glory of God.
How are things with you these days? Have you been comparing yourself to someone else lately? Are you frustrated with the level of your accomplishments compared to others? Have you ever prayed a prayer like the one Salieri prayed, bargaining with God for your blessing? By nature, we all have some Salieri in our hearts — we are sinners, after all — which is why we must be on guard against E.G.O. in our lives.
Like Paul, we must learn to be content with our lot in life — even if, when it is compared to others, our lot is not a lot! Never forget, Christian, that when you have Jesus, you have everything you need.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!