Thursday, August 20, 2015
the pride that kills us
Well, today's message is pretty clear. It permeates almost all of the readings. Haman exemplifies it throughout the entire story. He has so many blessings and honors in his life. But he is proud. He can't stand to see Mordecai refusing to honor him. Just seeing him at the gate steals all of Haman's joy.
And there is the take home message. Pride steals your joy. It's happened from the very beginning. Even before Adam and Eve, pride robbed Lucifer of the great blessings he had. He was the best of the best angels. And he was jealous... of God Himself! Then Adam and Eve let pride steal their joy in the garden... yes, God in His perfect wisdom worked even these horrible things for our good... but their joy was still stolen by their pride.
It is so interesting (and clear) to see pride in the life of Haman. He hates Mordecai so much that he creates a big spike in his back yard to kill Mordecai on it. For no other reason than that Mordecai refuses to bow down to him. And you know what happens... Haman is killed by his own spike. The very thing he was intending to use to hurt his enemy ended up killing him.
You've heard the old saying "If you're going on a journey of revenge, dig two graves before you go"? Because you'll end up in one of them. That happens to Haman... only he really only needed one grave after all!
Paul addresses pride, as well. He talks about honoring others, and realizing that we don't all have the same gifts. Don't let pride prevent you from recognizing the gifts that He has given your friends. Don't be jealous that they can do things you can't. God didn't make us all the same way. Be grateful for your gifts, and don't begrudge your friends theirs.
Pride is the one thing that can rob us of all of the joy that God gives us in our lives. And how to counteract pride? Proverbs 21:21 tells us. "Whoever pursues righteousness and unfailing love will find life, righteousness, and honor." Let's avoid sin (pursue righteousness) and love our neighbors. Then we will be genuinely happy for them in their success... and that will keep pride in its place.
Thank You, God, for making the lessons so clear. Help us to be humble.... and loving.