Sunday, June 24, 2007
JAMES 3 (The Message)
Sometimes it seems like everyone's fallback sin is "pride". You get a group of Christians together and share what you're all struggling with and, almost invariably, "pride" comes up. When this happens, everyone looks very serious and nods their heads in agreement.

I used to wonder if, in situations like this, we aren't all afraid to admit to struggles with something we deem to be "more serious." Pride becomes our "fallback sin." We feel like we can admit to it, have everyone nod in agreement, and move on. If we tackled something that folks may view as heavier than "pride," gasps may be heard and folks -- even Christian folks -- may talk about us for weeks. So, we resort to "pride". A good, safe choice because it is something we figure everyone deals with.

As I deal with the pride in my own life, I fear that it is easy for me to not take it seriously enough. In God's eyes, of course, no sin is worse than any other. Jesus made that very clear in His teachings. Also, there is probably nothing more warned about in the Bible than pride. Because one sin is just as bad as any other, it is impossible to "rank" the sins in our lives but "pride" probably is the number one thing with which I struggle. Yet I am afraid that I don't take it seriously enough. Part of the fallacy of pride is that, by its very nature, it makes you want to deny ever being prideful. Therefore, I think that I have relegated it to being the "fallback sin" that I can openly admit to and then move on with my life, unchanged.

If in a situation where we're openly sharing our struggles, someone admits to one of "those really bad sins" like stealing, not telling the truth, lust, infidelity, or addictive behavior, we twitter to ourselves or go home and, without names, tell our spouse. That stuff becomes great water cooler discussion at work, doesn't it? But pride? Aw heck, everyone's doing that. That's a safe one to admit to. Never mind how much our pride is showing even in this sort of thinking!

There's such a fallacy in thinking that any sin is more or less dangerous than any other but yet with "pride" I think we do indeed (or at least I do) consider it to be a "fallback" thing that isn't really that dangerous. How dangerous that really is though!

Pride is a tough thing for me to deal with. It is almost as if our society demands pride of us, and even moreso if you're in what others view as a "leadership" position. (There's a great deal of deception in that idea but maybe we can discuss that in a different post sometime.)

How do I deal with pride? Lots of prayers for humility. Lots of reminding myself that we're all the same. But still I struggle.

Check out James 3, especially verses 13 - 16 for a great perspective on this.

And, if you're really feeling brave, check out Charles Spurgeon's 1856 sermon on Pride and Humility.

  posted at 8:32 PM  


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Todd M


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