Friday, March 21, 2014

Lenten Reflections: Pride

"For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, PRIDE, and foolishness."
Mark 7:21-22

Look within and see our ashen hearts. What lies just below the surface? Allow me to introduce you to my favorite sin.

Pride creeps forward, ever hidden from the conscious, ashamed of what it demands. Pride spits forth every evil intention, not the least of which is itself. The Green Monster lurks within, devouring the "selves" of others, in order to feed the "self". Ravenous. From which all other sins are conceived, Pride gives birth to sin. Sin's origin fights for first place. And when Pride crosses the finish line, it accepts it's medal while the entire family is waiting to celebrate his victory. 

"There's Lust, waiting with a smile!"

"Oh look!", Pride thinks to itself, "Greed is here too, pushing himself to the front of the crowd!"

"Murder's here as well! But where is Sexual Immorality? Oh yeah!  Hiding behind that tree, as usual!"

"Victory is mine!"      

Pride puts "ME" above "EVERYONE ELSE". Me first. You last. I win. You loose. I'm great. You suck.

Pride climbs the ladder of success, makes as much money as it can, in order to buy more than anyone else. Pride hordes what it produces and justifies it as "The American Dream". Pride sends us across the globe, to "minister" to the poor, while we kick them out of our communities at home. Then pride calls us "Missionaries". Makes us feel better, doesn't it?

"Not in my backyard!", Pride screams out. "But downtown? That's fine. I'll drive down there Saturday night and help, before the sun goes down."  

Pride hurts. Not just the others that it devours, but our own hearts as well. Because Pride reveals what we hate to see.

"You know, you think that ol' pride's gonna choke you going down, but I tell you what.. Ain't a night goes by I don't thank the boss up there for giving me a big enough throat.... Think about it Bud, pride's one of those seven deadlies, you know what I mean?" - Uncle Bob

Pride made Bud flip off Sissy from his Ford Pickup. 

"Even those tears; I. Me. Mine. I Me Mine. I. Me. Mine." - George Harrison

Don't try and console me! I'll suffer alone!

"They cannot take your PRIDE." - Bono

Oh, how I wish they would.  

Lord, we look around and see that pride is killing the Church, killing our families, killing our society. Starve our ravenous pride so that we may hunger instead for truth, unity, community, selflessness and You. Starve us for You. Amen     

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