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Monday, November 06 2006

"The Christians are right: it is Pride which has been the chief cause of misery in every nation and every family since the world began. . . . In God you come up against something which is in every respect immeasurably superior to yourself.  Unless you know God as that--and therefore, know yourself as nothing in comparison--you do not know God at all.  As long as you are proud you cannot know God.  A proud man is always looking down on things and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you."  Mere Christianity

When I was in seminary a fellow student had a poster on his wall with the words:

There are two principles of enlightenment

  1. There is a God.
  2. You are not him.

That is the beginning of all right thinking and living, isn't it?  If we would all more fully realize these twin truths the world would be a different, in fact--a perfect place.

Can you imagine what the world would be like without pride?

  1. There would be no competition.  All competition thrives on trying to prove one is better than others.  That's pride. 
  2. Without competition there would be no competitive sports--at least not the kind where one tries to be better than others.  Perhaps the only athletic games which would survive would be those where one tries to be the best he or she can be.  Or maybe all sports would change completely from competition to cooperation.
  3. Without competition businesses would change.  They would all become much more service oriented.
  4. Without competition there would be no politics.  Politics is based upon one group or individual saying they have the better solution to the problems of the world.  As in business, if you remove the pride involved in politics, all that would be left would be service.  Imagine that!  There would be no more need to vote for one candidate over another.  No more political campaigns.  Yea!
  5. Without pride, there would be no more war, for all wars arise due to prideful desires.

James 4:1-3 says, "What causes fights and quarrels among you?  Don't they come from your desires that battle within you?  You want something but don't get it.  You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want.  You quarrel and fight.  You do not have, because you do not ask God.  When you ask, you do not receive because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures."

The more I contemplate it, the more I like the thought of a world without pride.  There is just one problem--the pride that is still in my own heart.  I still have the pride of thinking I can somehow make the world right or at least make myself right with God.  I can't.  Only God can make the world right and make me right with him and others.  In fact, that is what he has done, is doing, and will finally accomplish completely in Jesus Christ.  What I need to do is what James recommends:

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up (James 4:10).

Father, thank you that you are making the world right, you are making me right, through Christ.  Help me just to submit myself to you, to surrender, to let you shape me as the potter shapes the clay.  Fashion me and the world into your humble masterpiece by your Spirit.  Amen.

Posted by: Will Vaus AT 08:30 am   |  Permalink   |  Email

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