The Sin of Pride

They were perfectly made.  Perhaps the finest human specimens the world has ever seen, literally formed by God’s hands one at a time.  The Garden of Eden, a paradise without flaw was their home. All of earth was theirs. They walked with God and with none of the evils of our society whatsoever to be concerned about. Sickness, death, pollution, violence and crime were not known to them.  What more could Adam and Eve desire? They certainly didn’t deserve more. But thanks to the devil, their imagination was sparked and they must have thought “what if we could be like God?” (Genesis 3:1-7) One could argue that their first sin was pride. They believed that they were more than what they truly were and somehow had the capacity to be like God.

The devil also had the same problem. He too was made by God to be brilliant and beautiful. (Ezekiel 28:12-18) His original name was Lucifer. He was the Angel of Light. However this was not enough for Lucifer. He too thought he could be like God and sought to set his throne above God’s stars. (Isaiah 14:12-18) When we think so much of ourselves we start to believe that we deserve more and must have more. This leads to many more sins as we take or attempt to take what we should not. Lucifer attempted to take the heavens, Adam and Eve took the fruit and disobeyed.

Perhaps one good defense against sin and pride is to understand that we most likely already have much more than what we truly deserve. We must consider all that has been freely given to us. From the moment of conception our life is a gift from God, nurtured by our Mothers. We come into this word defenseless and in need of constant care happily provided by our parents or guardians. We were not only fed food for our bodily consumption, but knowledge, ideas and opinions fed our minds. Many of us learned from young of God’s great love and received one of the greatest gifts, the knowledge of His word. However all of these gifts pale in comparison to the gift of eternal life provided by our lord and savior Jesus Christ when he paid for our sins on Calvary. After all we have freely received, how much more can we say we deserve? Let us combat prideful notions with sincere gratitude for what we have been given and all we have been divinely promised.

Armed with gratitude we can safely pursue ambitions. Pride should not be confused with ambition. God gave us talents, abilities and intelligence and it is our responsibility to develop them. There is nothing wrong with trying to improve our position in life or our well being.  However we must make such attempts with the right attitude and for the best reasons. We should maintain our humility, understanding that while we aspire for more it is not because we deserve more, but that God has provided us with many more opportunities. God willing someday we will earn a greater position after much honest work and education. Hopefully our purpose for such ambitions is to benefit not only ourselves but our loved ones and all those around us.

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Feeling unsatisfied?

Big John was furious as he stormed into Mr. Redington’s office.  He was furious because Mr. Redington had paid Thomas, 600 dollars for one day’s work. Big john shouted “I heard you paid Thomas who has been with the company only 18 months 600 dollars for a day’s work last week. I’ve been with the company 10 years. I come in, sick or not, every day and I’m paid a measly 55 dollars an hour. Now you tell me what’s so special about Mr. Thomas.” Mr. Redington responded calmly, “John When your wife was sick in the hospital how many days where you out?” John was even more furious “How dare you throw that in my face now.  At the time you seemed sincerely sympathetic and told me to take all the time I needed and when I returned I didn’t take a day off for almost 4 years!” Once again Mr. Redington calmly responded, “I am quite aware John and I gave you a promotion. I remember telling you how much I thought of you.” John was not satisfied, “Well what good does that do for me when you can be so unfair!”  Mr. Redington smiled and answered. “John, Thomas worked 10 hours on Saturday, and that’s his day off. His normal pay is 40 dollars an hour. I am required to pay him time and half. That would be 60 dollars an hour for 10 hours. “John was silent. Then John answered, “I apologize.  I’ll be getting back to the floor.” Mr. Redington stopped john with these word “John I am disappointed. I thought you trusted me and would know that I treat each employee with fairness and kindness.”

Jesus once told a parable of a land owner who hired workers at the beginning of the day for a wage and then later in the day hired more workers and paid them the same wage.  The ones hired at first were greatly bothered and complained.  Jesus explained that their reaction was unfair because they had agreed to those wages.  It was the privilege of the land owner to hire more workers if he pleased and he could offer them what he wanted to. It was his land and his money. It appears that the workers hired at first were content with what they had and never thought their wages unfair until they started to compare themselves to others. (Matthew 20:1-16)

Often in life we too are satisfied until we contemplate what others have. We may ask ourselves “Why does he own more land? Why does she make more money? How come he can buy a new car every year?”  We start to think life has been unfair; God has been unfair, because someone has more. Yet we should also consider those that have less. How many times do we compare ourselves to those living in poverty, or even worse those living under persecution in foreign countries. Countless human beings are caught up in human trafficking, prostitution, drug addiction, war stricken countries and other horrific conditions. Life can seem unfair. However most of us still have so much to be grateful for and if it pleases God to give someone else more or less, remember it was His to give from the beginning and trusting in His infinite wisdom we can be sure He has His reasons.

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Didn’t get everything!

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6 

Johnny, as his friends and family called him, was a playful kid who was active all day.  In school he worked hard and did well.  His teacher was impressed with his participation and intelligence.  However they wanted him to pay more attention to his homework.  His homework at times suffered because Johnny loved to play.  Sports, video games, board games, arts and crafts, the kid loved it all. He was also quite talented as both an artist and an athlete.  His parents were delighted with their son. Occasionally dad would say “remember to do your homework Johnny.” In truth dad enjoyed playtime as much as Johnny.

Christmas was nearing and playful Johnny had his eyes on all sorts of games and toys.  He made a rather impressive list and his dad was all too happy to receive it.  It’s as if the presents were more for daddy than for Johnny. Dad set out to get them all.  He checked on line first.  Placed the orders carefully and made sure the estimated date of arrival was before Christmas. There were a few that were better to pick out at the stores and away Daddy went.  It was certainly a fun day at the mall. The whole time daddy was thinking “Johnny is going to be so happy on Christmas and we are going to have so much fun”.

The gifts started to come in and everyday Daddy would unpack them and wrap them.  Under the Christmas tree they would go. The whole time Johnny would make comments hoping to gather information on dad’s success at obtaining everything he wanted.  But dad would not say a word.  It was the game of Christmas.  Johnny really had nothing to worry about; every year dad would get everything on the list.

Johnny had a hard time sleeping Christmas Eve, but was up early Christmas morning. He rushed into his parent’s room and woke them up.  “It’s Christmas, It’s Christmas, come let’s go!” Johnny didn’t even wait for his parents to get up and rushed down the stairs.  He grabbed one gift after the other, and, as he did every year, didn’t take out time to play with any of them until they were all unwrapped.

Johnny looked confused and began to check the presents again. He looked frustrated as if he had misplaced something.  Then Johnny exclaimed, “Dad you didn’t get me the PS3 Martian ray riffle with the instant magnification lenses and natural grip!” Now dad seemed confused, frustrated and angry. He had been hoping all along to play with that himself. Holding his head, making a fist and with a sound of doubt he muttered “how is that possible, I placed the order three weeks ago, I thought it came, what happened?” This was not looking like a Merry Christmas.

Mom had to intervene. “Boys look at all the cool stuff you have to play with. Be thankful for what you have and don’t focus on what you don’t have. ” The boys still looking angry and disappointed with their arms folded and their heads down, began to look around.  Finally Johnny picked up the glow football and hesitantly told his dad “You want to play with this Dad?” Dad answered “well alright” then dad lit up “Hey why don’t we call some of your friends and put together a real game?” “Sounds great dad”, Johnny shouted and they both ran out of the room in search of their coats.

Mom was left behind shaking her head and thinking “why is it that after everything we receive we are still not happy. Like Johnny we make our lists for God and when we don’t get something we are frustrated and focus on what we don’t have. We are easily disappointed when God says no or wait.  We should focus on all God has done and provided.  We should be thankful not angry.”

Paul in the epistle to Philippians encourages us to ask God for what we need and desire, but to always maintain an attitude of gratitude and not become anxious over all these things we request. (Philippians 4:6) God knows what we need and will provide.  Let us be happy for all we have, and as for what we don’t have, let us leave it in God’s capable hands.

Giving thanks is a priority

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights ….James 1:17

There were ten lepers living outside society. They were unwanted, hopeless and without anyone to care for them. There was no medical attention or solution. They were waiting for death. Then he came by, Jesus, the great prophet from Nazareth. Some called him a teacher; others said he was just the son of that carpenter. Still others said he was the anointed one, the son of God, the Messiah. In any case there were stories of great miracles. Raising the dead, calming the storms and casting out demons were among the list of incredible miracles. If these were true then this man could not be just an ordinary man.

Then it was heard, in desperation they shouted “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” (Luke 19:13) This man spoke but a few words “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” (Luke 19:14) They turned in obedience to follow his directions and they were healed. This terrible disease that had been affecting them for some time now was completely gone.

Then only one came back to thank Jesus. They had all experienced a life changing miracle. It cost them nothing but a little faith. Yet they did not take out the time to say thanks. Did they lack an attitude of gratitude?

There are three priceless gifts, our lives, our salvation and our eternal hope. In addition to these three there are countless more we can each add to our list of gifts. To God we must be forever grateful. He is worthy of our constant praise for what he has given us. Let us not be like the nine that did not make time to thank their healer. Let us be like the one who made it his priority to first say thanks. No doubt there are many loved ones he could have shared this great news with first. He could have sought out the approval of the priest first. He could have gone out to celebrate. But all of these paled in importance to his first act, which was to simply say thanks.

Regardless of the holiday an attitude of gratitude should always be present. We should always be prepared to offer praise to our Lord and savior. Let us make a priority of saying thanks to all those who deserve to hear it, especially our God!

Grateful for everything I have and everything I am

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. Psalm 136:1

I was still a child when my father asked me, “Why did God make our young so much more helpless in comparison to the young of other animals?” He later explained that being helpless required us to receive much attention and love. What wonderful gifts from God! It takes much more nurturing to raise a human than any other species on the planet. Without proper care what would any of us become? At birth we are incapable of walking, standing or swimming. We come into this world incapable of cleaning, protecting, and feeding ourselves. We would literally die within days if left unattended. Many years after our birth we still need a great deal of attention just to make it through one day without harming ourselves. There are many important principles that my father taught me from this one important fact.

Without the love and nurture of others we are nothing. Without teaching and guidance we would know nothing. Everything we have, everything we can do and everything we know we owe. It should make us the most grateful and loving creatures in the world, no doubt it was God’s plan all along. Yet we often lack this grateful attitude.

Many have noticed an attitude of entitlement, the feeling that something is owed to us, or that everything we’ve gotten was supposed to have been given to us. Therefore, we don’t have to be grateful. But with this attitude we only cheat ourselves of the opportunity of recognizing what others have done for us.

We should be grateful for those loved ones that cared for us and provided throughout the years as well as those significant others who made a difference in our lives.

The biggest difference maker being God, He created us and has made a way for us to succeed. He blessed us with intelligence, talent and countless opportunities to develop them. However an even greater reason to be grateful is God’s love and mercy. While we deserved condemnation for our sins he sent his only begotten son, Jesus, to die on the cross so that we might have eternal life.

He is more than worthy of our gratitude. When we are grateful to God we are able to worship him in spirit and in truth and we are able to see what he has done for us, therefore our faith is strengthened.

An ungrateful life is a sad life where we would be unable to realize the love and care that has so carefully been spent on us. All that we have are gifts and the greatest of these come from God, our lives and our eternal souls.

Let us be grateful this holiday to all who have made a difference and let us lift a mighty praise to our lord and God.

A few more verses to consider

James 1:17

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

1 Corinthians 15:10

But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.

 Go to Verses on Gratitude 

Verses on Gratitude

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Verses on Gratitude

Colossians 3:17

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Psalm 136:1

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.

James 1:17

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

Colossians 3:15

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.

Hebrews 12:28

Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe,

Colossians 3:15-20

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Psalm 107:1

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!

Psalm 50:23

The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God!”

Ephesians 5:20

Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Psalm 100:1-5

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.

Hebrews 13:15

Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.

Luke 17:11-19

On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went they were cleansed. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; …

Psalm 118:28-29

You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God; I will extol you. Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!

John 11:41

So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me.

Psalm 118:1-18

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever! Let Israel say, “His steadfast love endures forever.” Let the house of Aaron say, “His steadfast love endures forever.” Let those who fear the Lord say, “His steadfast love endures forever.” Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free. …

Colossians 3:16

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

1 Timothy 2:1

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people,

Psalm 105:1

Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples!

Psalm 92:1

It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, O Most High;

Psalm 103:1-5

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Colossians 2:6-7

Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

2 Corinthians 2:14

But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.

Psalm 50:14

Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High,

Psalm 107:1-2

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble

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