PASTOR’S NOTES on Pride MAY 2019

Ah, Pride; the great destroyer of us all! Selfish in its very nature, pride is the mechanism we use to lay waste to a marriage. It’s what we use to end friendships, to shrink a church roster, to produce unhealthy communities. Pride is the tool used to start wars, desolate countries, pollute our environment, starve multitudes, and take innocent lives.

Pride is silent in its approach. We may never see it coming until its too late. It may come as a smooth talking acquaintance, maybe it’s a television evangelist wanting you to “Release the Financial Seed to them,” or a political figure, or perhaps a devious businessman. Maybe we can find it in a friend, a spouse, a sibling or one of our children. But, chances are, its right in front of our nose, or rather in our hearts. Somehow pride has come into us by stealth and will take over if we let it.

Pride is the act of thinking more of ourselves than we do of others. Always putting ourselves first before anyone. It is an act of fabricating our own reality into one of great self-worth. In other words, it’s a lie.

Pride is so damaging we must make every effort to escape. Our very lives and the lives of those around us depend on us turning off the destructive nature of the pride in us.

C.S. Lewis, in the book, Mere Christianity told us, “You may remember, when I was talking about sexual morality, I warned you that the center of Christian morals did not lie there. Well, now, we have come to the center. According to Christian teachers, the essential vice, the utmost evil, is pride. Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere fleabites in comparison: it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind.”

Seeking glory for ourselves is nothing more than pride at work, or vainglory. Vainglory is a phrase we don’t hear too often anymore. The Greek form of that word is, kenodoxia, keno, translated means, “vain, empty,” doxa translated is, “glory,” or  empty glory.  If we try to heap glory upon ourselves or endeavor to extract glory from others, it is an empty attempt to replace God in our lives with ourselves. An attempt to usurp the one true God with ourselves is a fool’s errand. We end up with an empty glory, alienating those around us and have nothing to show for it except the contempt of others.

“By pride comes only contention, But with the well advised is wisdom.”

Proverbs 13:10 (NKJ)

Out of pride grows other problems. Selfishness is one. James told us in 3:16, “For where jealousy and selfish ambitions exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.” Pretty strong words….. But, very true. When a person’s goal is to put their needs ahead of others, it becomes impossible to serve God and to love our neighbor as ourselves as stated in Matthew 22. Selfishness is more than just taking the last two cookies at an office party or cutting in line at a pot luck. It is a way of life. A life not only full of disorder, but a life that spreads disorder to those around the them.

Have you ever met someone that truly enjoys being around selfish people? Me neither. Again turning to scripture; the book of Romans is a book dealing with how people get lost in their own selfishness and fail to find truth. In chapter 2 and verse 8 we read, ”But for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.” Not a good outlook for the selfish.

 

God Bless You!

PW

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