Posts Tagged ‘pride’

Fruit trees do better when they’re pruned.

Gardens do better when weeds are pulled.

And vehicles get better gas mileage when unneeded weight is removed.

You’re seeing a trend here, right?

Whatever gets in the way of productivity needs to go.

And so it is with our spiritual lives.

We don’t “get efficient” once and then we’re set for life.

And we don’t get spiritual once and then we’re set for eternity.

Far from it.

Fruit trees need pruned yearly.

Gardens need weeds pulled weekly.

Vehicles need dead weight removed daily.

You and I need pruning every so often in order to remain fruitful.

We need to pull weeds of sin and distraction in order to provide more bountiful service to the Lord.

And we all could probably benefit from getting rid of “dead weight” habits or hangups that, at best, slow us down and, at worst, leave us broken down on the side of life’s road.

The author of Hebrews gives us needed advice:

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up.” (Hebrews 12:1)

Every person has a stumbling block sin that keeps tripping up him or her.

I’m talking about that sin that we say we’re not going to repeat but then, guess what?

We repeat it.

Self-hatred is not the solution although it can be hard to avoid as illustrated by the Apostle Paul’s autobiographical cry, “What a wretched man I am!”

Determined vigilance and deep humility are vital in this struggle between flesh and spirit.

We must always remember that we avoid the ditch when we stay between the lines of God’s Word and will.

And that happens when we keep our noses pointed down the centerline of the “straight and narrow” rather than seeking after those things that we can pursue only if we let go of God’s hand.

Listen, if we never take the first step toward the ditch, we won’t fall into it.

Recall the steps that have led you into the stumbling block sin. And resist taking even the first one.

Paul told Timothy it’s not enough to consider and then abstain from youthful lusts.

The young man needed to flee youthful lusts.

We’ll each be better off as we run away from temptation rather than thinking we can manage it.

As always, I love you

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There are times in our lives when we make biblical decisions that are really dumb.

And costly.

I’m not talking about choices made in alignment with the precepts of the Lord but instead decisions similar in prideful foolishness to those made by Bible characters.

Scripture is filled with examples of bad decisions. That’s actually one of the reasons that we can trust the integrity of the Bible. Other religions’ dogma manuals don’t describe the failures of the religion’s heroes, calling into question the objectivity of the writings.

When we read of the sins of one usually faithful Bible character after another, we sometimes see ourselves.

Adam and Eve believed the lie that God was lying and they suffered as a result.

Of course, we still suffer today from their sin.

Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, Samson, David, Solomon …. the list goes on of people who were famous for their biblical lives yet flawed in their conduct.

The common threads? Their good choices were made by asking God first and their bad choices were made without asking God first.

There is a cost to not asking God in prayer if we should do certain things.

Today’s reading in the One-Year Bible provides another confirmation of this truth.

Judah’s King Josiah picked a fight with Pharoah Neco that he should have avoided.

But King Josiah didn’t pray about it first.

HUGE mistake.

King Josiah lost his life because he didn’t pray to God for direction.

You can read about it by clicking here.

This was so sad, so unnecessary.

King Josiah had just led his people in a thrilling time of national revival and one would think that praying to God would have been the first thing the king did.

But perhaps overconfidence took over and Josiah ignored King Solomon’s timeless warning recorded in Proverbs 16:18:

“Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall.”

Listen, it doesn’t matter how satisfied we feel with our faith and personal competency with the challenges we face in life. If we don’t pray for wisdom, leading and strength — if we try to handle things on our own because we think we know what’s best — bad things will eventually happen.

Judah suffered terribly after Josiah’s debacle and ended up destroyed with many dead and others enslaved.

Let’s pray first before significant decisions, OK?

The cost of not doing so is too high.

As always, I love you

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Want more influence on the job?

At home?

At church?

Want more people to look to you for leadership?

Become a better servant.

Focus first on the things that serve others’ best interests.

Help people get to where they want to be.

Know them.

Show them.

Grow with them.

Go with them.

Young King Rehaboam should have listened to this advice from the aged royal counselors who had advised his father Solomon.

But he ignored them because of pride and greed.

Here’s what he was told in I Kings 12 by the counselors when asked by the people of Israel to cut taxes following Solomon’s death:

If you are willing to be a servant to these people today and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your loyal subjects.”

But here’s what Rehaboam said to the people:

“My father laid heavy burdens on you, but I’m going to make them even heavier! My father beat you with whips, but I will beat you with scorpions!”

Big mistake.

The kingdom split. Warfare resulted. Countless thousands died.

The world has never been the same.

If only Rehaboam would have seen himself first as a servant rather than an entitled tyrant.

Let’s recognize the cancer of selfishness. Nothing good comes from it.

Serve others first.


We’ll be much more valuable to everybody — including ourselves — as we show others the better path.

As always, I love you

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King David’s life showed us a number of ways to do things that please God.

The shepherd/warrior also showed us a number of ways to displease God.

Of course, we want every day of our lives to be characterized by the former, not the latter.

But, sadly, our pride sometimes gets in the formula and we fail.

We displease God.

You do.

I do.

So what then?

What do we do when we’ve fallen short of the glory of God, when we’ve missed the mark, when we’ve disobeyed the pattern for living that God provides in the Bible?

We tell God we’re sorry, that’s what, and actually mean it.

We repent.

God doesn’t let us off the hook in terms of consequences, but He does let us off the hook of condemnation.

You’re quite familiar with the costs of David’s adultery.

David had another major mess-up in 2 Samuel 24 (you’ll want to read this passage by clicking here).

It was driven by a combination of pride of how many men he had in his army and by fear of other nations and the desire to know that he had enough military strength to make up for his lack of trust in God.
David had opportunity to avoid the sin, but he stubbornly proceeded until the desire had given birth to sin.

Then his conscience’s voice was finally heard:

“But after he had taken the census, David’s conscience began to bother him. And he said to the Lord, ‘I have sinned greatly by taking this census. Please forgive my guilt, Lord, for doing this foolish thing.’” (2 Samuel 24:10)

So when you have sinned by doing _______________ and your conscience begins to bother you (though you ignored it before), do you think the words of verse 10?

Are the words, “‘I have sinned greatly by ________________. Please forgive my guilt, Lord, for doing this foolish thing” on the lips of your heart?

We each need to sin less often and hopefully our faith is maturing and we are becoming more like Christ. But when transgression does occur, let’s do what David did.

Let’s repent.

I John 1:9 tells us that God WILL forgive us if we confess our sins.

What a great promise for giving us hope despite our weakness for failure.

As always, I love you

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It’s important that we think twice before ignoring the Holy Spirit’s warnings to us.

We all hear them from time to time when we’re being tempted by Satan.

We’re at the fork in the road, with the narrow, twisting path of holiness heading one direction and the seemingly smooth and straight superhighway of sinfulness heading the other.

Unfortunately, we all know what it’s like to have taken the wrong turn.

What seemed best to the flesh turned out to be the opposite.

This is what we must remember no many how many days we have in life.

For how we listen to the divine Navigator is a reflection of our relationship with the divine Ruler of the universe.

Jesus put is this way in John 8:47…

“Anyone who belongs to God listens gladly to the words of God. But you don’t listen because you don’t belong to God.”

When God’s voice via the Holy Spirit seeks to guide us away from temptation, let’s make sure to listen.

For if we don’t, what are we saying about our relationship with God?

And that’s a very dangerous place to be in view of how our lives could end at any time.

Jesus asked in Luke 6:46, “Why do you call me ‘Lord’ and not do what I say?

Let’s make sure that our words and our walk line up when we’re at home or work or school or church… or even on the highway.

Listening to God’s voice is what godly people do.

As always, I love you

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