Pastor Mike's thoughts

Thoughts on today's Christian world and how it fits into secular society.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Pride Ain't Good

Pride is one of the biggest issues that keep people from a close relationship with Jesus. Pride has a long history. It’s the one that came before Adam and Eve. It’s not only the earliest sin, but it’s at the core, the basis of all sin. From God's perspective, pride seems to be the most serious of all sins. When His Word reveals those things "that the Lord hates" and "that are an abomination to him," it is man's proud look that heads up the list (Proverbs 6:16-17).

God clearly speaks out in Proverbs 8:13: "The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogance, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate." And consider the divine perspective on pride revealed in Proverbs 16:5: "Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished."

God wants us to be humble and tells us in Matthew 23:12 "whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted" and in Matthew 18:4, "Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven."

So what does God want from us? Micah 6:8 tells us, "what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God." The psalm said that the Lord is good and upright and "therefore will He teach sinners in the way. The meek will He guide in judgment: and the meek will He teach His way." Psalm 25:8-9 There’s power in the example of an ordinary life lived with knowledge of God's power - seeing Him in everything we do, and doing all things for Him. That’s the mark of the mature believer, quietly and humbly going about ordinary tasks, living in happiness, and leaving behind the memories of Jesus' love.

Scripture that is harder to understand is Proverbs 16:19: "Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud." The focus of this proverb is not on whether someone gets or loses things, or whether one gets victimized. It's about being humble in spirit over being proud. The proverb doesn’t say it's better not to have nice things than to have them. It says is that it's far better to be humble and struggle in this life than to be proud and have it easy. Pride has such serious consequences that even a comfortable life won't make up for it. You’re better off being humble and poor than proud and comfortable. But let me emphasize that by the same token, it’s perfectly acceptable to be blessed with a great income or retirement as long as you realize that you were blessed because of God’s generosity. Either scenario is great, as long as we remain humble. Remember that God requires justice, mercy, and humility - no matter where we live.

Why does God hate pride and arrogance so passionately? Pride is when sinful human beings want to be elevated to the status and position of God and refuse to acknowledge their dependence upon Him. (Remind you of Lucifer and his horde?) A proud person refuses to accept help from another, even from God, so they won’t accept salvation in Christ. But a humble person recognizes their dependence and gladly receives salvation. God will not deny a broken heart and a contrite spirit so come to Him, just as the woman with the alabaster box, humble and giving the Lord the thing He wants most - our heart.

Trying to humble myself to the end,
Pastor Mike

What The Doctor Really Means

"Well, what have we here...?"
He has no idea and is hoping you'll give him a clue.

"Well, we're not feeling so well today, are we...?"
I'm stalling for time.

"If it doesn't clear up in a week, give me a call."
I don't know what it is. Maybe it will go away by itself.

"Let me check your medical history."
I want to see if you've paid your last bill before spending anymore time with you.

"Well, now, we have some good news and some bad news."
The good news is, I'm going to buy that new BMW. The bad news is, you're going to pay for it.

"This should be taken care of right away."

I'd planned a trip to Hawaii next month but this is so easy and profitable that I want to fix it before it cures itself.

"Let me schedule you for some lab tests."
I have a forty percent interest in the lab.

"Let's see how it develops."
Maybe in a few days it will grow into something that really needs to be cured.

"I'd like to prescribe a new drug."
I'm writing a paper and would like to use you for a guinea pig.

"That's quite a nasty looking wound."
I think I'm going to throw up.

"This may smart a little."
Last week two patients almost bit off their tongues.

"This should fix you up."
The drug company slipped me some big bucks to prescribe this stuff. Hope it works...

"Everything seems to be normal."
Rats! I guess I can't buy that new beach condo after all.

"I'd like to run some more tests."
I can't figure out what's wrong. Maybe the kid in the lab can solve this one.


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