There lies, in each of us… a monster.
For some it’s roaring and raging in a blind rage which threatens our very livelihood. For others, it merely hides, but we can hear its hiss like a stoic expression, waiting to lash out -and if left unattended, it will. Some are more aware than others of it and do a better job at wrapping chains around it and keep it in the deepest parts of our hearts, and others still, have almost become indistinguishable to it.
Today in Sunday service, we explored this topic (which I’ve also blogged about a few times before (Here, here, and here. Yeah, I run into this occasionally.)
We learned that this monster can go by many names:
Envy, Lust, Greed … It’s primary name though – the one which truly gets us caught up the most – is Pride. It all starts with pride. Make no mistake, it has many names, but this monster is the same; it lurks within each of us. If we are not mindful and on guard, it may rear up and swallow us whole, or slowly eat away at us; until we no longer resemble compassion and humility at all.
Let me share some nuggets from the message this morning (and a little of my own humble input).
The picture seems bleak and foggy sometimes, dealing with a true-to-life monster hiding in the closets and under the beds of each of our hearts, but there is hope. There is light, and there is a way to defeat this monster!
Pride distorts our reality.
You ever meet someone so caught up with self that reality seems to be . . . Aloof to them? Obviously none of us personally have ever dealt with this; but, ya know, others. Their reality is distorted. Maybe it’s not totally distorted. If you think a little distorted is no big deal, think of flying a plane whilst your vision is “just a little” distorted. It’s a big deal.
Pride makes me a fool.
I always think of American Idol when I think of how foolish pride can make us. Contestant shows up; looks the part, talks the part, and we wait in anticipation while they take the mic to show us their stuff. They are confident. They are ready. They are Proud.
After the commercial break, the music begins. Their mouth opens and – TRAIN. WRECK. “Who approved this?! Why would anyone torture themselves like this?! Why didn’t her momma tell her she sounds like that?!” Pride definitely made her a fool. That’s just one example, but, pride can make us a fool even when we are good at something.
Pride rob’s my future.
Having a distorted reality and being a fool can have a way with our future. A bad way. My teacher had a saying. “Oh the web we weave, when we practice to deceive.” Pride won’t let us admit our faults which means, we have to lie. Of course, once we lie to cover up our faults, pride says we must then lie to cover up our lie and our faults. Eventually, it’s a whole web of deceit and we’re all caught up in it. It’s sticky. Pride keeps us “stuck”.
1. Turn from your sin
Simply put, pride is sin. In addition, sin begets sin. Time after Time I’ve found the best remedy for this is accountability. Nothing helps turn from sin, like someone I respect holding me accountable for dropping a bad habit. Go ahead, confront that issue of pride and just deal with it head on. You’ll be glad you did.
2. Start Obeying God
The next logical step once you turn away from sin, is to obey God. Some would say “be a good person”, but that can be so ambiguous. Sometimes, there seems to be no good choice. Nothing seems right.
3. Be Merciful to Others
We all need mercy. Mercy is forgiveness when we could bring down the hammer and really “show who’s boss.” I can look back and pinpoint moments of mercy. If you can’t, I’m guessing you need to look back at the first point in this list, because I’m willing to bet there is something you’ve done requiring mercy. Admittedly, I can also pinpoint whence I’ve withheld mercy when it was my turn to wield. I’ll tell you, when you do, it is freeing. It will build you and other people around you. It will encourage you in your own growth and build strong, lasting relationships.
I just wanted to share my thoughts on Pastor Jeff’s words this morning!
How do you combat pride?