All posts tagged: pride

Is the Writing on the Wall for You?

-written by Betsie Richards Around this time last year, I was faced with a huge decision. It was a decision I prayed over very intently, honestly more than I’ve ever prayed over a decision before. I can’t even count all the ways God graciously showed me the answer. Signs, if you chose to think of them that way, sermons, bible study lessons, and random unsolicited messages from family and friends all confirmed what my decision should be. At one point, I’m pretty sure I said outloud, “Ok Jesus, I get it. I see what you’re trying to tell me.” I felt like I could clearly see what I needed to do as if it had been written out for me personally. We’ve all probably heard the phrase “the writing’s on the wall.” Sometimes in regards to failing businesses, failing managers for sports teams, and, sadly, sometimes even failed relationships or marriages. Unfortunately, most times the phrase carries negative implications. Daniel 5 seems to be no exception. King Belshazzar has a moment where he physically sees …

What Would You Include In Your Autobiography?

Who doesn’t love a good story? Especially if the story is about you. Back when people read newspapers, it was exciting to have your story printed so others could read it. We love to share about the good in our lives and I think this is why so many famous people write their own autobiographies. The beauty of story-telling is you get to include or leave out whatever details you want. If I was having you write about my life, I’d start with all the good stuff, too. Very rarely do you read a story of someone’s life where they admit how wrong they were, how they screwed it up, or the stupid mistakes they made. We may include bad things that happened to us, but rarely sinful decisions we made ourselves. In Daniel 4, King Nebuchadnezzar was the ruler of the entire world. He had built an incredible kingdom as he looked over it, he said, “Look at this great city of Babylon! By my own mighty power, I have built this beautiful city …

Your Sin Problem is a Pride Problem

Vine’s Expository Dictionary defines humble as “low-lying” and humility as “lowliness of mind.” When scriptures speak of humility, they are referring to one who not only acts as a servant, but also thinks like a servant. Some mainstream schools of psychology argue that a majority of our problems come about because we have poor self-esteem. In other words, we think too lowly of ourselves, and as a result we have trouble communicating or even completing necessary tasks. But scripture says, “Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall. Better to live humbly with the poor than to share plunder with the proud. Those who listen to instruction will prosper; those who trust the Lord will be joyful” (Proverbs 16:18-20). I am going to disagree with psychology and side with the scriptures: a majority of our sin comes about because we view ourselves too highly. Many of our actions, desires, and words are self-exalting. Take gluttony for example. The over eating of food is only concerned about self-pleasure. Maybe the food comforts the person. Perhaps he just loves the taste and can’t …

This Week For Sunday

 Blessed are those who are humble. They will be given the earth. –Matthew 5:5, NIRV I was recently with a small group of children’s ministers from all over the country. In conversation the verse Numbers 12:3 was mentioned, which says, “Now Moses was very humble—more humble than any other person on earth.” Someone pointed out the humorous fact that Moses is the author of this verse. It does seem prideful for someone to claim he is humble, and even more so the most humble man that has ever lived. But consider Moses’ response to God’s call for his life.  Moses understood the weight of being God’s representative before the Pharaoh and pleaded with God to call someone else. He fell on his face and stuttered, “W-w-w-who am I to appear b-b-b-before Ph-f-f-araoh? W-w-w-who am I to lead the p-p-p-people of Israel out of Egypt-t-t?” (Exodus 3:11) Paul writes, “‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners’—and I am the worst of them all” (1 Timothy 1:15). Moses raises his hand in agreement, “I’m right there with you, Paul.”  These Biblical pillars …

How Much Do You Think About Yourself?

Why do we do the things we do? As a society, why do criminals commit crimes?  Is it because they think so little of themselves that they feel they have to weaken others to empower themselves (Western philosophy)?  Is it because they are so prideful that they feel themselves above the moral and legal obligations of society (Eastern philosophy)? As an individual, what motivates a person every day?  Is it because I need to eat and therefore I go to work?  Is it because I feel an obligation to perform to a level in which I can compare my life to the people around me? Why do we do the things we do? The church of Corinth was going through a similar crisis when Paul wrote his letters.  The leaders of the church were motivated by the wrong things.  Some of the leaders were saying that they should be given special status because they had been taught by Peter.  Others clamored that they should be the ones given special status because they learned from Paul, and …

Are You Living in the Best Neighborhood?

Paul was a stud and he had every reason to be. He was a social elite, an intellectual genius, and the cherry on top of the creme when it came to Jewish standards. Every parent wanted their kid to be like Paul. Wives would say to their husbands, “Why can’t you be more like Paul?” It would have been easy for Paul to rely on his own “righteousness.” How many of us have been caught driving in that neighborhood? Forget driving, how many of us have bought a house in the neighborhood of credentials, titles, and worth built by human hands? In Philippians 3, Paul gives his own introduction speech, listing all his accolades.  It’s not because he is obsessed with himself, but to demonstrate he is qualified to speak into the lives of the Jews. No one had the credentials this dude was carrying, and in an instant, all that had meaning and clout among a nation that worshipped the Mosaic Law, Paul wrote off.   I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the …