Life Notes—August 1, 2013
“For the wicked boast of the desires of their heart, those greedy for gain curse and renounce the Lord. In the pride of their countenance the wicked say, ‘God will not seek it out;’ all their thoughts are, ‘There is no God.’” Psalm 10:3-4
The last of the Seven Deadly Sins, Pride, is the most uncomfortable for me to contemplate. In the words of a friend and mentor, “It plows awfully close to the corn.” Pride is considered the most serious, as well as the source of the other six deadly sins. Pride can be defined in a number of ways. The most convicting definition for me is a desire to be more important or attractive than others. It can also manifest as a refusal to acknowledge the good in others. Somehow we fear such acknowledgement will make us appear less “good.” Pride is the ultimate form of self-love. It is an inflated self-love that vaults love for self above even love for God. Pride can also elevate love of self to such a degree that hate and contempt is felt for others. I reluctantly confess, I struggle with pride over all else.
As we consider the other deadly sins it is easy to see how they all originate in pride. Lust, gluttony and greed spring from a prideful self-love. They transform something we desire into something we believe we deserve. Sloth is an attitude of laziness. Whatever we want to do (or not do) for ourselves becomes more important than the other needs around us. Wrath is entitling oneself to let anger to rage out of control. It shows a lack of self-control and often results in harm to self or others. Envy convinces us that something of value belonging to another should actually belong to us. In the Psalm above, pride leads to a belief that there is no God. We come to believe the universe revolves around us, so if there is a God it must be us. Proverbs 11:2 says, “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but wisdom is with the humble.”
The good news about pride is that, sooner or later, it leads to disgrace. And disgrace, when we are willing to learn from it, leads to humility. Humility helps us realize the world does not revolve around us. It helps us understand that our desires are not more important than the needs of others. It teaches us that we have much to learn about life and living. Humility helps us listen more and speak less. Pride encourages the opposite. Micah 6:8 says the Lord requires us to “walk humbly” with our God. Pride is the original deadly sin because it leads us away.
Tom will be preaching downtown where Life worship is at 10:00 in Brady Hall. Traditional worship is at 8:30 and 11:00 in the sanctuary. Mitch is preaching at the west campus where contemporary worship is at 9:00 and 11:00. His sermon title is “Singing the Blues,” based on Psalm 42.
Come home to church this Sunday. Don’t allow your pride to keep you away!
Greg Hildenbrand, Life Music Coordinator