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Posts Tagged ‘Pride’

4 Steps To Telling Your Story

December 2, 2013 5 comments

If you have been in the church for any amount at all, you have heard one of those good old churchy words that has been handed down from generation to generation.

You have used it, and may have given one or two.  You know the word:

Testimony.

What if we called testimony what it really is.  It’s a story, right?  Our story.  The story about our relationship with God, about what Jesus has done in our life.

How do we go about it?  What do we do?  Here are four steps to telling the story of what God has done in your life.

  1. Describe your struggles and victories.  Be honest about them.  Don’t try to hide your warts, but don’t glorify them either.  Tell about your victories, but don’t hang your hat on them.  Make them part of your story, but not the entire story.
  2. Don’t whine….or brag.  Don’t make your story a time to simply talk about how bad things have been about your life.  Don’t brag about everything you have done in your life either.  Just tell it like it is.
  3. Be humble.  Don’t let pride rule in your story.  Pride is one of the easiest to let creep into our lives.  It can easily become part of our story.  Remember where you’ve been and where you’re going.  Realize Who has done it all for you.
  4. Glorify God….not yourself.  It’s so easy to twist things so that you get the glory.  We like for the spotlight to fall on ourselves.  Make His name known, not your own.

You have a story to tell.  You can call it a testimony if you want.  Be honest in telling it.  Tell about how things really are.  Know the trajectory of your story.  Make sure that it really comes down to Who it’s all about.

What else would you add about telling your story?  What is your story?

The Law Of Christ

September 22, 2013 Leave a comment

Paul has spent the entire letter he has written to the Galatian churches as a warning to not allow false teacher to add the burden of the Law to their lives now that they follow Christ.  Today Paul continues the last few thoughts he has on how life as a follower of Christ should look like.

It will seem odd that Paul would talk about the Law of Christ when he has spent the previous five chapters fighting against any sort of law being placed on those who follow Christ.  Today we will take a look at what that means in our lives.  First, though, let’s deal with the last verse of chapter 5.

Paul says to the Galatians, Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.  The previous sentence that Paul has written was that if we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.  Here, in verse 26, he shows us a couple of items that have no place in the Spirit led life.  It’s easy to become puffed up with ourselves.  This is the type of life that following the false teachers led to.  If you feel like you are meeting the life that these law giving teachers say that you should live, then you will measure everyone and become prideful.  “Hey, look at me, I’m keeping the law better than so and so.”  At the same time, you may become envious because someone is in a better situation than you.  Trying to keep the law through will power and the flesh leads to pride and envy, which actually contradict God’s law.  So, we can see, that it actually leads to a life of sin.

Paul next shows us what to do rather than fill ourselves with pride and envy.  Brethren, even if anyone is caught in a trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself so that you will not be tempted.  What is our job at followers of Christ?  To restore others to a relationship with Christ.  If we see our brothers and sisters in Christ sinning, it’s our job to help them come back to Christ.  Those who are spiritual, which I believe means living and walking by the Spirit, are to help restore them.  How?  With a spirit of gentleness.  We probably all know people who would want to do this with a heavy hand.  Paul wants this to be done delicately.  He also adds a warning that we should look after ourselves so that we will not be tempted.  I think this refers back to the previous verse where he says let us not become boastful.  We should not feel proud that we have not succumbed to sin while restoring someone.

What does this lead to?  Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.  I think this goes a bit against our American, Lone Ranger type of Christianity.  First, we don’t really like for anyone to know what our burdens are.  Second, our thought too often is that other persons stuff isn’t really our business.  Paul shoots this down.  We are each other’s business.  It’s my job to help support you and bear your burdens so that you will not sin.  Same for you with me.  This fulfills the law of Christ.  We are all in this thing together.

What we must in this passage, if we haven’t yet, is that Paul  is attacking pride.  In the law of Christ, there is no room for pride.  Verse three says For if anyone things he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.  That is what the false teaching Judaizers lead to.  They lead to people thinking that they are really something.  They are deceived.  They lead to self-deception.

Verse 4 almost, if we’re not careful, sounds like Paul contradicts what he wrote in verse 3.  But each one must examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another.  What I think Paul is getting at is that we cannot compare ourselves to one another regarding what we do in Christ.  I must not compare myself to you, which could lead to pride.  Instead, I must examine myself and let that stand on its own.  Does Paul want me to really boast about this?  I don’t think so.  The only thing we can boast in is the work of Christ that is happening.  Not in anything we are doing ourselves.

Verse 5, then, sounds like a contradiction to verse 2.  For each one will bear his own load.  Is Paul now saying that we stand on our own?  No.  He is saying that we are not measured against anyone else for our sin.  We alone are found responsible for it.  We bear that the responsibility for it when we stand before Christ, not in comparison to our brother.

Takeaways

1.  Adding law to following Christ results in pride.

2.  The law of Christ reduces burdens, doesn’t add to them.

3.  We must work to restore our brothers and sister and help them overcome sin in their lives.

4.  We have nothing to boast in, other than Christ.

5.  We must not compare ourselves to others regarding our spiritual lives.

 

On Lonely Men

Seven men from my church recently went to an event called The 4th Musketeer. The only way I can describe this event is to say that it was an intense hike with spiritual implications that lasted four days. Little food was eaten and little sleep was to be had based on the testimonies I heard.

The men said that the event was designed to break them down. It was designed to rid them of the pride that so often plague men. It also seemed to address another issue that men face in their lives.

Loneliness.

*****

Loneliness seems to be a common malady that men live with. Not many will probably talk about it or admit it. They might sing about. Waylon and Willie did back in the 1970’s when they told mammas to not let their “babies grow up to be cowboys.” Why? Because their “never at home and their always alone, even with someone they love.”

Men just seemed to be wired to be lonely. The question is why?

*****

I can only base my answer on my own experience. I believe it’s traced back to that first word that the I said the men from church dealt with on their adventure. It’s a word that most of us are familiar with.

Pride.

We men think we can handle things on our own. We believe that to depend on others is a sign of weakness. We don’t want to open up and share our fears, troubles and worries. Doing so would show that we aren’t real men. That we aren’t strong. That we aren’t tough.

We would rather be lonely and proud than to be free and have the weight of the world lifted.

*****

When we come to know Christ we become new creatures. That means we who are men are new men. Let’s actually let that become a reality in our lives. Let’s show our vulnerabilities. Our Lord did so in the garden of Gethsemane. If He can, and He is our model for life, then we should strive to live like Him and not as we have always lived.

Are you a lonely man? Do you find it difficult to lower your pride and depend on others? Are you able to be vulnerable with others?

Fight For Unity

February 7, 2012 7 comments

In the 1960’s, while running for governor of California, Ronald Reagan subscribed to what became known as the 11th Commandment.  This commandment stated that “Thous shall not speak ill of any fellow Republican.”  This philosophy seemed to work out well for President Reagan.

Unfortunately, the same doesn’t seem to happen in the Church.

I don’t know about you or my fellow bloggers, but there seems to be a growing trend on Twitter  and the blogosphere.

I know this because  I’ve been guilty of this in the past.

It seems like rather than unity in the Body of Christ, there are fractures.

There is something that I would like to see more of.

I want to see a fight for unity.

Don’t get me wrong.  I know it can’t happen every single time.  I know there are some lines that have to be drawn.  We can’t always be in total unity with everyone.

The problem is that I continue to see more and more folks who want to focus on what they disagree with others about.  What I see is that some consider some things essential that aren’t truly essential in the faith.

In Ephesians 4, Paul encourages his readers to “be diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”  He says to do this “with humility and gentleness.”  I think we see what the problem is in this section of scripture.

I think there is a lack of humility.

I think pride is the problem.

I think we get our pride all worked up in these situations.  I think we want to get our soapbox and let some brother or sister have it.  We want to prove to them that we are right and they are wrong.

We fight with each other instead of fighting for the important things that unite us.

Let’s stop it brothers and sisters.

You disagree with someone?  Fine.  Promote what you believe.  Make a strong case for what is important to you. Convince us of what you believe.  Don’t tear down that guy or gal for what they believe.  Trust that the Lord is in control and that what He is for will win out.  I’ll respect you a lot more.

Have you noticed this trend of late?  Are you fighting for unity or just looking for a fight?

140 Words (more or less) About Pride

October 27, 2011 11 comments

It’s Twitterific Thursday, where I write about a subject in 140 words more or less.

Sometimes pride comes before a great fall.  You and I  have experienced it.  Someone we know has a great amount of pride in their lives.  Maybe it’s you.  I know that I do on occasion.

Maybe, like me, you have been encouraged to take pride in yourself.  Maybe you have been encouraged to take pride in your work.  I don’t think this is something that we really have to enough pride in our lives.

I don’t think you and I are fundamentally that much different.  I have not met anyone yet who does not struggle with pride.

It’s the root of most of your sins.  It’s the root of most of your problems.  It’s the root of most of your issues.  It is the root of your personal conflicts.  It’s the root of most problems in your marriage.  I know because that’s the way it is for me.

Let’s battle the pride in our life?