Tuesday, March 15, 2011

March 15, 2011 … Threats to Humility: Possessions and Position

Passage of the Day: Philippians 2: 3 - Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit; but with humility of mind, let each of you regard one another as more important than himself.

My Journal for Today: We continue on with a discussion of life issues which promote pride and thereby impede us from a Christlike attitude of humility. And two such issues are possessions and position.

Moses clearly warned God’s people, and thereby all of us, against the pride that grows out of achievement and accumulation, when he wrote in Deut. 8: 17 – 18

SCRIPTURE: Deut. 8: 17-18You may say to yourself, "My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me." 18 But remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth, …

I think we all know that the pride which can come along with the accumulation of wealth/power often goes hand-in-glove with class-related pride. I know that on more than one occasion, even after I became a Christian, on several occasions, I became convicted of thinking of myself as “better than” someone else just because of where I lived or because of those with whom I associated. But, in these instances, God has helped me to confess of this sinful pride and repent to pursue a more Christlike humility. What about you? Have you ever had to turn around from prideful selfishness or vain conceit?

But we have a model, the perfect model of just the opposite, in the life and ministry of our Lord, Jesus, … a life devoted to humble ministry to the poor, … a life totally devoid of class-related pride. And Christ’s most ardent and righteous anger was directed at religious leaders who loved to flaunt their position/power (see Matt. 23: 5 – 7).

SCRIPTURE: Matt. 23: 5-7 [Jesus] "Everything they [the religious leaders] do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; 6 they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; 7 they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them 'Rabbi.' "

The advertising industry today tries to get us to buy into the world’s siren call to have more … or to be the best we can be … or to build our self-image. But God’s anger is severe, as we read above, against such attributes [see also Isaiah 3: 16 – 26 - linked here]; and the Holy Spirit, through John taught us to avoid the pride of life which comes from the lust of the flesh and the eyes (see 1st John 2: 15-17) … because nothing eternal comes from these pride-driven attitudes.

My Prayer Today: Keep me, Lord, from the pride of life as seen in this world. Amen

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