It’s a gateway sin
This week we begin an all new series AND a celebrate a first ever in the history of Life Bridge … LIVE FROM TAYLOR, IT’S SAAATURDAY NIGHT!! We are thrilled to now offer another opportunity for those who might not be able to come to church on Sunday. No, this isn’t just another option for our “normals” (and our normals aren’t very normal, if you know what I mean!), this is a brand new opportunity to continue to break down barriers and throw open the doors and invite people in to experience the love of Jesus through us. So enough commercial … now onto the show!
There’s a sin that exists which is at the root of all others, and to be honest, it’s killing us. It’s a sin that’s a gateway to all the others. That sin is PRIDE! There’s no need to sugar coat it, and in our lives we don’t need to study it, learn more about it or even just suppress or cage it up … we need to KILL IT! Pride is not something to treat lightly, and it’s not something that you can apply a topical treatment for. You need to rip it out at the root and rid your life of it forever. Tough talk, but I couldn’t be more sincere or serious.
Yeah, God thinks so too!
In case you’re wondering, we didn’t invent this notion of how bad pride is. God’s the one who set the tone for how we should look at, and react, to pride. He has plenty to say about pride and here are just a few examples:
I will break down your stubborn pride and make the sky above you like iron and the ground beneath you like bronze.
Leviticus 26:19 (NIV)
The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.
Proverbs 16:5 (NIV)
God opposes the proud, but shows favor to the humble.
James 4:6b (NIV)
No wiggle room for interpreting what God thinks of pride there!
The Problem with Pride
So, really … what’s the big deal with pride? There are three fundamental problems with pride that have devastating consequences:
- it’s the sin that leads to all others
- it isolates us from people we love
- it crowds out God
“Okay, really?!” you might say. “I get that pride has a lot to do with the bad stuff I think or do, but it’s really that bad? It’s really the sin that leads to all others?” I would strongly and confidently suggest that every destructive thing you’ve ever done or will do, every attitude you have that hurts someone else or hurts yourself, is rooted in pride. Pride seeks and sources from self and it is the most powerful tool Satan uses to alienate us from each other, and from God.
Anyone and everyone
So, here’s an absolute truth about pride … if you’re human, you’ve got a problem with it. A feature that comes standard with our sin nature is the cancer that is pride. Not even the people hand-picked by Jesus as his disciples to carry the message of the gospel to the world were immune from it. In fact, they had a real and repeated problem with it that is well documented in scripture. Multiple times during Jesus’ life on earth, the disciples were caught arguing over who was the greatest among them. Read this…
A dispute also arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors.”
Luke 22:24-25 (NIV)
This is not the only time the disciples have this argument, and most of the time it’s within earshot and notice of Jesus! Seems pretty bold — and stupid — doesn’t it?! Even those closest to Jesus battled with pride.
Here is what Jesus said to them, and says to us:
But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.
Luke 22:26-27 (NIV)
Jesus was their example, and he is ours. His words are crystal clear … you must become a servant to follow Him. We are not to be prideful. We are not to think of ourselves, or elevate ourselves in importance over anyone else. Pride is the fuel that drives the engine of our desire to be greater than. We must kill pride, dry up the fuel source and, in so doing, consider others greater than ourselves.
How serious is Jesus in being an example for us? To what lengths did He go to model it for us?
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man,he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!
Philippians 2:6-8 (NIV)
Yes, that is how far Jesus went for us! He is God, and He didn’t use that as He navigated His humanity while He was here among us. He washed the feet of His disciples, He willingly gave His life for us.
So, now what?
So, here are three questions I would love for you to consider this week. Take your time and don’t answer too quickly. Let them simmer a bit. When you have an answer, write it down and go back to it repeatedly to see if it lines up with your life as you live it. Ask someone you love for their input (that should be humbling, in and of itself). Pride might not be killed in a day, or in a week, but you cannot wait in asking God to help you start.
How does pride manifest itself in you?
How does pride masquerade in your life?
How long do you plan on following it?
Start praying now. Start asking now. Commit to the truth that you cannot ignore or appease your pride … you must KILL IT!