Saturday, August 1, 2009
(The following is from a talk given in the Elkhart County Jail Medical Unit July 29, 2009)
I was so proud. I was so sure of myself. For the first 45 years of my life, I would never submit to a belief in God. I had no need for Him. . .I was totally resentful toward the thought of needing anyone other than myself. I am not alone in that belief.
The original sin was the pride of Lucifer:
For thou hast said in thine heart,
I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God:
I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
I will be like the most High.
Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
Notice the similarities, before coming to God. . .I. . .I. . .I. . .I. . .I. . .It was all about me. Pride will keep you from coming to church. Pride will keep you from submitting and opening yourself to God and receiving His Spirit. Pride is what will keep you out of church and if you give it a chance, pride is what will get you to leave church and abandon your relationship with God.
I know people. . . people close to me who have lost virtually everything. Home, health, job, family, finances, peace of mind. . and on and on. . .they have lost really everything that can be lost short of life itself, but they have kept their pride. Oh what a precious jewel their pride must be. They will freely admit that the reason they will not turn to God is that they totally refuse to submit to Him in any way. They understand that coming to God inherently means changing, but to accept change as necessary, is to admit that you were wrong. Their pride is more important than anything else in their life. The realization that in coming to God they would need to bend their knee, bow their head and admit that they need Him is so totally abhorrent to them that they would rather continue in the mire and vomit of their hell on earth.
To their credit, they recognize that to come through the doors of a church would be an admission that they needed something of God. They do not understand that every diseased and festering septic symptom of their life, shouts as evidence of their need for something from God. . .They are as blind beggars laying on the sidewalk in their filth, fooling only themselves in their proudly proclaiming of how independent, and un-needy they are. . . vividly voicing with the silence of their actions how they have no need of grace. . . forgiveness. . . and charity from God. . . .
Pride. . .Pride is the one and only inalienable right of man. An inalienable right is one that cannot be taken away. In pondering this, I believe that pride is the only right that man has that cannot be taken from him. It is a man's absolute and undeniable right to keep his pride and ride it all the way to hell.
Pride cannot be taken. . .
Pride must be freely given up. . .
Pride is a tempest on the waters of your mind. . .
Pride is the opposite of humility. . .
Pride and patience are antagonists. . .
Pride is a weapon the meek do not carry. . .
Pride abhors repentance. . .
Pride and faith cannot coexist in one heart. . .
Pride prevents forgiveness. . .
Pride closes the ears to teaching. . .
Pride is hardness. . .
Pride is a blindness between man and soul. . .
Pride is a wall between man and man. . .
Pride is a gulf between man and God. . .
I love you my God. . .
I love you my Lord. . .
Please forgive my pride. . .