In John 10:10 Jesus promises His followers abundant life. This blog is about my life as His follower.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Hidden Problem

Do you struggle with pride?

If you'd asked me that questions 2 days ago I would have said no. But that would have been before the sermon at church this morning.

The pastor started out referencing Isaiah 66:2 (NIV):

Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?" declares the LORD. "This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word.

He made the point that God values those who are humble. Then he went on to quote the well loved verses in James 4:6-7 (NLT):

But he gives us even more grace to stand against such evil desires. As the Scriptures say,
“God opposes the proud
but favors the humble.”c]">]
7 So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Well I was feeling fine. But I was trying to be open minded and think back through my week if I'd been haughty. My husband even leaned over and whispered that he knows he doesn't have issues with this one.

But at one point during the sermon the pastor put a list of symptoms of pride up on the overhead. Then he went though the list and talked about each symptom. Uh-oh, that's where it got me!

There were these 4 that I wrote down that I know apply to me: Impatient, critical, controlling, need to be right, and not easily corrected - yuck! There were also things on that list like: difficulty forgiving others, judgmental, getting your feelings easily hurt, praise seeking, angry (plus there were more I can't remember).

I'm grateful for my brothers and sisters in Christ in our church; what sweet spirits. Afterward I heard several of them commenting on that list and how they had stuff on it. Even my 16 year old son admitted to having issues with several of the symptoms. Amusingly enough this was the very same son who did not want to go to church this morning and I reminded him of the household church attendance requirement so he came (but as we walked into church I looked over at him and found that he'd worn his gym shorts and bedroom slippers to church to get back at me. Fortunately for once I took the wise road and said nothing). My husband announced to the car while driving home, as he laughed at himself, that he saw bits of the entire list in his life.

Gee who realized it was such a pervasive problem?!

The pastor went on to list some ways to combat this issue in our lives:

  • Acknowledge our dependency on God
  • Thank the Lord for everything
  • Have a lifestyle of choosing to serve those around you
  • Invite those in your life to speak truth and provide correction
  • Quit worrying and trust God
  • When you get compliments say thank you and then, if possible, give glory to God in it
  • Accept the gift of sleep
  • Laugh at yourself, often

The one on that list that really hit me was the one about sleep. Both my son and husband looked at me when he said it. I aim to seek God in this area this week. I even started today by actually taking a nap.

Is there any area on this list that you want to work on?

1 comment:

Ruth said...

Thanks for sharing this! Clear, practical teaching is so important! The Word of God must affect our hearts and our daily lives. We often don't realize that the conduits ("pipes") of our lives can become so clogged with pride and other 'accepted sins', that we hinder the precious, cleansing flow of communion with Jesus, first affecting our own lives, then the lives we touch. We tend to forget that our words and actions simply show to those around us where we are really at in our hearts. Judging this before Him is so vital to our own hearts. Then we are privileged to become channels of blessing to others around us – clean conduits that He can flow through. May the Lord help us each to have pure, tender hearts before Him, and allow His beauty and character to flow through us, unhindered by the foolish choice to allow the ‘comfortable’, selfish sins of pride.

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