Luke 9:49-50 “And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us. And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.”
We are all liars. The Bible tells us so.
Romans 3:4 “God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.”
Not only do we lie one to another, but we also lie to our own selves.
Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
But, one of the more insidious sins we commit in the church is pride. It isn’t any wonder that the prevalence of pride manifests itself in so many ways. As I read today, I heard the voices of many people from my past.
When we test what we say against what Jesus is trying to teach His disciples, we will find the sin of pride more often than not.
Here the disciples had felt their band; their group was better than most; maybe even a bit elitist if you will. What they knew, Who they traveled with, what they saw; they felt as if no one else could do, be, or know what they did. So, when they came upon one doing things similar to their own, they rebuked them for not being one of them.
Our enemy knows well the sin of pride.
It was the very sin he committed while in Heaven. He gathered a third of the angels to follow him in this sin. They all rose up in their hearts against God and received such swift judgment.
Luke 10:18 “And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.”
In churches today, we see infighting over who is the greatest, or who will rule over this ministry, or be over that people. Within the local, New Testament church, we see preaching salvation by grace through faith, pointing fingers at one another, accusing them of heresy because of dress, music, administration, and evangelism.
Each of us, who are saved, children of God, have been given the Holy Spirit to indwell us. The earnest of the Father, given for us to be led and guided into all truth. Each of us is responsible for the choices we make as we are led.
There is not a shred of evidence in the scriptures that puts any one of us in a place of judgment unto condemnation for another’s actions. There is a judgment, however, to be used for discernment. I may see a brother from another church doing something that I would not think of doing – is it my place to tell him or her of their wrong?
Even in our casual conversation, we step over the line offering our ‘armchair opinion’ about what we feel they should be doing. How far will this type of thinking go? Will it go so far as to say:
“God, I don’t think you should have allowed that one to ‘get away’ with their sin – they should be severely corrected”.
Many of us who genuinely fear the Lord, would cringe at such a thought. Yet, our human nature leans that way more often than we would care to admit.
Wouldn’t it be more beneficial for us to pray for that one who may very well have departed from sound doctrine to have the truth revealed to their heart, and for wisdom than to take up criticism, post it on social media, and spread their transgression among the brethren?
We condemn so quickly and forgive not nearly as fast. We act on our condemnation and criticism and leave off the mercy for which we would beg if the roles were reversed.
The sin of pride is one of the greatest killers of Christianity.
We tell others we are Christian and then they wait to see if the real Jesus will show up. When we talk and act more like the world, what are they to think?
True love meets the need of the object of that love. My mother taught me a saying long ago:
“There but by the grace of God go I.”
Meaning, I am thankful that the lot that has been chosen for me is not what I see happening in someone else.
We fail so miserably to take on God’s perspective in so many instances. If we realize that our first response to any matter is usually, if not always carnal or fleshly, I can bypass blurting out the foolishness that we confirm my carnality, and ask the Holy Spirit how I should respond… if at all.
Banks train their tellers what real money feels like so that when someone tries to pass a fake bill into their hands, they readily recognize it. When we are trained in Bible truth, Bible doctrine, and Bible living, the counterfeits become more evident.
If I were to be found in error, I would want that one to come to me in love and guide me as God would guide them to guide me. Far too often, we take up the gospel 2X4 and begin whacking away.
The thread of pride can be found in so many ways and at the root of so many catastrophic failures. If we could only govern ourselves to be aware of its presence, we could act more honestly, lovingly, and pray for others instead of shooting our wounded.
My prayer is that we see and recognize our own pride long before it does any permanent damage.