Reading in the book of Romans (chapter 2) this morning, my thoughts turned towards home and my growing up years. My father had a saying, “Don’t do as I do, do as I say”; translation – I have certain standards for you and others, but I don’t need to live up to them. The Apostle Paul, in Romans, discusses the passing of judgment on others when we turn around and do exactly the same things; similar to the actions modeled for me at home.
No one likes to see the uglier side of their personality or actions. Okay, honestly, I abhor seeing the “sinful” side of me. Holy Spirit character tweaking appears brutal at times. Ever tried to dig out a well rooted tree stump? It’s work! The reward at the end and satisfaction for a job well done keeps us motivated. The same rings true for allowing the Holy Spirit to root out that which hinders my reflecting Christ in thought, word and deed towards others.
It’s surprisingly easy to fall into a judgmental, hypocritical pattern of thinking. As a Christian it’s easy to hold up my character standards towards other Christians. Such as, “They need to read their Bible more”; “Oh my gosh… they’re such a gossip”; “If they would simply pray more”; “Their children behave abominably, they should spend more time at home”; “There is a better way to accomplish ____” (my way of course) … and the list could go on-and-on. My heart has no desire to think or behave unkindly, yet, I do. I am human and like it or not the default setting, for me, for you and for everyone, is less than stellar.
“Pride goeth before a fall”; ever heard that saying from the Proverbs of Solomon? The root of many an action or thought comes down to pride. Yep, pride! Ouch that hurts. The bible states, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil”… I believe pride ranks in the same root category. Pride is disguised in a judgmental attitude. Pride, the root of many a fear. Pride the driving force for more toys, more things, more money, better status and position. Pride sneaks into prayer lives, in acts of kindness and compassion towards others. Sadly, pride is often the hidden force behind our acts of service to our church, our community and to Jesus. What about relationships.? Relationships, a.k.a. whom we choose to befriend, is rooted in pride far more often then we recognize.
We are called to humility; the very opposite of pride. Our society does not see humility as a virtue. Its very definition sounds weak (a modest or low view of one’s own importance; unassertive). Everything about humility goes against today’s teachings. We are told to be assertive, take pride in our accomplishments, aspire to greatness, knowledge is power, etc.; The mere amount of money we pay sports figures says a lot about what we value in society. The bottom line; we’ve become a race of people who have made life all about, “me”.
If pride is what we are to fight against and humility is what we are to strive for, how would that look in my life? What should that look like in today’s society? One thing I know for sure, it does not look like, “Do as I say, not as I do”. Hmmm, time to ponder and chew.
More to come,
Until next time,
1 Timothy 6:10