“There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him:
haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.“
Galations 5:19-21 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.
Today we start our series on a particular set of core sins common to humanity, often referred to as the ‘7 Deadly Sins’７つの大罪 – and their spiritual counterparts.
We start this series by looking at ‘haughty eyes’ – the sin of pride.
(By ‘pride’, I’m not talking about the pride that is akin to encouragement of others – saying to a child, for example, “Well done, I’m proud of you”.)
The pride we are talking about today is, in essence, independence from God.
Pride refuses to depend on God and be subject to Him, but rather is self-honouring.
It is the root and essence of all sin.
Pride first appeared before the creation of the world when Satan wanted to be independent of God (Is 14:13-14)
It first appeared in our world when Adam and Eve wanted to be independent of God, just “like God” (Gen 3:5)
The sin of pride continues to this day and it seems that it is only growing, particularly in western societies where the self is exalted, individuality reigns supreme, and others and God in particular, are swept aside as a stumbling block to personal freedom and (again) independence.
(This is reflected in my online dictionary having nothing but praise for the virtues of pride.)
Pride can also be a temptation for the Christian (1 Tim 3:6). As we gain godly knowledge, we risk puffing up with pride.
The Bible (especially OT) gives us “sustained condemnation of human arrogance” (NIV commentary) and of the human hatred of divine wisdom. (Prov 8:13)
Ps 10:4 tells us that pride the root cause of atheism
1 Cor 1:18 reminds us of what a stumbling block to God human wisdom and arrogance always is.
On this note, it’s worth mentioning the difference between traditional Hebrew teaching and thinking, and traditional Greek teaching and thinking because they are in stark contrast and much of modern western thinking is based on the proud Greek way of thinking. The Greeks, in contrast to Biblical, Hebrew thinking, considered pride to be a virtue and humility merely weakness.
This line of thinking continues today in society.
Paper this week: An article condemning religious adherence for destroying human rights and promoted “secular wisdom” as the only answer. This is pride.
The gospel of Christ promotes the highest form of human rights, as covered by the two greatest commandments
to love God with all your heart
and to love your neighbour as yourself
I hope it’s not lost on you that both of these commandments require humility to be practiced.
I like the way the apostle Paul views his own rights because puts them into a holy, humble perspective: he says in 1 Cor 9:12~ he would gladly give up his rights for the sake of the gospel. Here’s a wake up call because pride clings to me, to what I deserve, to what my right are.
Paul acknowledges his rights and what he should have but for the sake of the gospel, he’s willing to forgo them. All that matters to Him is the love of God as lived out in Christ.
And Paul’s attitude here introduces us to the counterpart of pride: humility
Pride, whether it be communally in society or individually in our hearts, always leads us away from God. Humility leads us to Him.
The Bible makes many contrasts between pride and humility
James 4:6, 1 Peter 5:5 “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”
Prov 3:34 He mocks proud mockers but shows favor to the humble and oppressed.
Mat 23:12 “Those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
Humility is of enormous importance to a person’s character, characterised by God Himself (Ps 113:5,6) and taught by Jesus: 謙遜はイエスによって教えられています。
– Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Mat 11:29,
– Beatitudes (Blessed are the meek, poor, humble) 山上の教訓
– Lord’s prayer (Your will, not mine) 主の祈り
and modeled by Jesus: イエスによる模範
[Jesus], being in very nature God… humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! Phil 2: 5~, (Talk about giving up your rights!)
– Washing disciples’ feet 弟子の足を洗う
Humility was central to the character and ministry of Christ. And so it should be for us, too.
Without neglecting a godly love for ourselves, we put God and others before ourselves. It’s no longer we who live, but Christ who lives in us. (Gal 2:20) 謙遜はキリストの人格と宣教の中心でした。
Humility can be twisted. 謙遜は誤解されることがあります。
– There is false humility in which people appear or pretend to be humble for selfish gain.
– There is also self-debasement which can look like humility at first but is not humility at all. It is, rather, a form of self-hate or hopelessness. That is not humility. 自己卑下もあります。
We are to loathe our sin, but we are to love ourselves as people who are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God.
This is a vital distinction.
We are to love ourselves and value ourselves as God’s beautiful creation.
Humility is not humiliating!謙遜は恥をさらすようなことではありません！
It’s not a put-down which leaves us hopeless. It’s a joyful, willing laying down of self before a loving God who then exalts us in His ways – ways that we never could.
Our healthy self-image is not based on our own excellence (which is pride) but rather on the excellence of God whom we take after and submit to. This is humility.
Let me finish on this note: humility always comes before blessing. (Proverbs 18:12)
If you want to succeed in what you are doing, if you want to be blessed in all you do, humble yourself before God.
i. Acknowledge Him.
ii. Make Him the Lord of your life.
iii. Seek His will in your life before your own. Base your life plans on God’s will for you.
“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4)
Take a moment to think about this. What are the desires of your heart? あなたの心の願いは何ですか？
I put it to you that most of the desires of our heart are not really the desires of our heart. We might think the desire of our heart is to get into that college, or land that job, or get that girl, or live in that house, or to be famous, or to enjoy that success or to even have that ministry.
But these are not the real desires of our hearts.
We confuse what we think are the means of attaining the desires of our heart with the actual desires of our heart. Our real desires have much more to do with being satisfied, being secure, trusting and being trusted, being at peace, having a purpose, having real joy bubbling up in our hearts, loving and being loved and so on.
God knows the true desires of our hearts better than we do. And He is the only one who can truly give them to us.
My iPod. Though not a life goal, I have spent the last few decades building a music library most of which on review, is not worth listening to. I sure don’t want that to be a reflection of my life! I don’t want to spend decades building my life in my own way that seems good to me, only in later years to find that most of my life is not worth looking back on. I want to build my life God’s way because I not only want to enjoy my life now but I want to be able to look back on it and know that the true desires of my heart were met.
Pride only gives us the shell of our desires.
Humbling ourselves before God brings us the true desires of our hearts.