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What’s Up with The Seven Deadly Sins?
You’re not going to find the phrase “Seven Deadly Sins” anywhere in the Bible. The origin of these categories of disobedience are rooted in the early church. I sense they emerged in an honest effort to help Believers to better understand the directions that evil temptation can take; to help us to self-assess for evidence of them in our living and then ultimately point toward the godly virtues which must be groomed to combat and defeat their action in our lives. In the coming weeks Restart will offer instruction on each of the seven. They are:
We begin with Pride. Now make no mistake, pride is a very important and even necessary aspect of our living. We are fashioned in the likeness of God Himself – there is nothing contrary in the Word to pay close attention to and honor and care for our physical bodies. But the climb to Bible Ground shows there is a time when pride turns from healthy self-respect to selfishness, vanity, and even narcissism. There is a healthy pride in accomplishment and then there is a variety of pride where we show off and act so others take notice – a sickly pride where we neglect others and place ourselves, our needs, our concerns and our egos above our relationship to God and above those He has placed within our circle of influence
So what can we say about Pride? Here are three points of instruction I would ask you to consider:
- Pride is the original sin of the devil
- Pride isolates From God
- Pride will not go unpunished
Pride is the Original Sin
- “How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, You who have weakened the nations! You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, and I will sit on the mount of assembly… I will ascend above the heights of the clouds – I will make myself like the Most High – Isaiah 14:13-14
Pride is the stuff that crashed the Universe. The original sin – I don’t need you God – I got this. The starting place of Pride is living like you do not need God – I shall be God in my life – I don’t need nourish my spirit though daily bible reading, times of private prayer, assembling together, service to others and sharing about what Jesus did for you. I am over myself – I am the boss of me – Pride is the original sin. Does this describe you? Then take caution, beware!
Pride isolates From God
Pride will always, always, always isolate from God.
- Then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God who brought you out from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery –Deuteronomy 8:14
God brought you out from your bondage; out of your former life – (do you remember your former life?) brought you out from those things which kept you from Him. This verse instructs that as you and I live for ourselves , we will forget Him – we will neglect Him. Pride turns our vision inward so we will fail to look outward – fail to see how our narcissism cripples those closest to us – fail to look outward to notice and act upon the needs of others – and of course when we live for ourselves there is no room for God – YOU WILL FORGET – mark those words, if you feel otherwise it is a DECEPTION.
- But when Uzziah became strong, his heart was so proud that he acted corruptly, and he was unfaithful to the Lord his God – 2 Chronicles 26:16
Notice the workings of STRENGTH in this passage. You and I gain personal strength through the things we do; successes at work; physical exercise; dieting; anything that requires discipline. – These are all good, and we get strength and encouragement from them. But the time comes when we begin to seek them alone; to sacrifice our righteous duties in order to have them in our lives; to lean on them alone to primp our self-image; to bask in the glory of the discipline of the activity and admiration of others instead of the LORD. It will be inevitable then; we will neglect God and corrupt His Truth in our lives (note the verse says “acted corruptly”). Here’s another verse from Hosea remembering the Children of Israel after they left Egypt.
- When I fed them, they became satisfied. And being satisfied, their heart became proud; therefore they forgot Me – Hosea 13:6
Note the warning here! It’s fairly easy to pray to God in times of trouble. The real challenge is to seek Him when there is smooth sailing – or as this verse terms it – when we are satisfied. Once we are satisfied with ourselves (note too, Who is doing the Feeding – who is giving you the power you are using to turn your back on Him) ; pride takes root and we forget God; we isolate ourselves from Him.
Pride will not go unpunished
- Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling – Proverbs 16:18
Now haughty means scorn and condescending – I’m better than other people; you can test the presence of scorn by asking if you frequently say: “that guy’s an idiot” Haughtiness is a teammate of Pride it means conceit and snobbishness – you become too busy to attend to your spiritual health; the climb to Bible Ground kills your buzz, But Pride always leads to destruction – you might be sitting pretty at the moment… But watch out!
- The pride of man will be humbled and the loftiness of men will be abased;and the Lord alone will be exalted – Isaiah 2:17
Pride has a cousin named loftiness (it means disdain) – I am better than you. Abased means discredited. What you are doing will be discredited; your sin will find you out – whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in the inner rooms will be proclaimed upon the housetops. But who alone shall be exalted?
God has a word He applies to the person who is proud of heart:
- Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord; assuredly, he will not be unpunished – Proverbs 16:5
Not the fires of hell – we who Believe in the substitutionary death of the Lord Jesus are delivered by Grace from that awful place. But being an abomination to the Lord will come at a cost. Think in terms of your ability to think; the choices you make; your view of yourself; your take on what’s right and wrong. These can be affected by Pride; and taking root, lure you into evil practices.
How to recognize Pride in My Life?
So let’s talk about the fruit of pride; the things you come up with when you take a sharp look at yourself. Are you and I living pridefully? – Lets look at three evidences:
- A desire to be more important or attractive than others
- Failing to acknowledge the good work of others
- Love without God
A desire to be more important or attractive than others
We must live in ways that are the opposite of this!
- Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor – Romans 12:10
Would you say you live devoted to those God gave you to love; to those you should love; to those in your Faith Group? It’s important to remember devotion and love are not necessarily something people earn from you; often times people in your life bring stressors. But it is honorable and the opposite of Pride to be devoted to them anyway – agape love – love in spite of. Paul wrote:
- Be subject to one another in the fear of Christ – Ephesians 5:21
Notice its something we all should be doing. Don’t fail to do it because you think you will be taken advantage of; why? Because the ones you are to be subject to will be doing the same towards you!
- Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation – Romans 12:16
Associate with those who you are tempted to view are under you – the lowly. if your pride is under control no-one you encounter will be considered lowly to you. Don’t be too wise in your own thinking. Don’t think you got it all figured – because you don’t – and even if you did you are instructed to let it all go – to swallow your pride – for the sake of Christ. What is a second evidence of Pride at work?
Failing to acknowledge the good work of others
- Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves – Philippians 2:3
Failing to acknowledge the good work of others means REGARDING ONE ANOTHER – not forgetting others; ignoring those who love you – when we accept the efforts of others as something that is owed us; living without a simple thank you then we show the fruit of pride. We need to pay attention to others – in fact, not only pay attention, but…
- Therefore encourage one another and build up one another – 1 Thessalonians 5:11
We are to encourage others… Encourage and build up – this means we have to interact with people and not ignore them. To look OUTWARD, look about and SEE people! A third evidence of the active presence of Pride in your life is:
Love without God
Wait a minute, is Love without God even possible? Yes it is:
- But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come For men will be lovers of self – 2 Timothy 3:2
Love can be most certainly be present – but remember love is a verb and must have direction. Difficult times come; why? FOR/BECAUSE you and I doing what? – becoming lovers of self. This verse is a comment on the macro stage: as in the end times. This verse is also a comment on the micro stage: as in the life of you and me. Do you find it is taking more and more energy to live your life; that you are getting less and less out of it? That the savor and energy for life you had has become dulled – that you have begun to substitute material, sensual, self-indulgent and prideful lifestyle practices in lieu of time spent in attending to your spiritual nourishment? This is because you have disregarded the love of God and hold fast to some fractured form of religion; like the pharisees of old:
- But woe to you Pharisees! For you pay tithe of mint and rue and every kind of garden herb, and yet disregard justice and the love of God – Luke 11:42
The key word for me here is Disregard: LISTEN CLOSELY!! You cannot disregard something unless You first know its there. You know your duties, your responsibilities, your obligations to the Lord Most High and to others – but you disregard them. You know what you should be doing because it takes the form of a guilty conscience; in the form of your moral compromises; in the form of trading healthy relationships for good-timing buddies who acknowledge and encourage your choices.
So now what to do about it?
Each of the 7 Deadly sins has a Virtuous Antithesis:
- Pride Humility/Meekness
- Envy Kindness/admiration
- Anger Patience/Forgiveness
- Sloth Diligence/Zeal
- Greed Charity/Generosity
- Gluttony Temperance/Fortitude
- Lust Chastity/Justice
The starting point for any victorious assault upon the particular sin arrayed against you is to become profoundly immersed in its opposite Virtue. I will close with two observations about the Antithesis of Pride; Humility and Meekness:
- Humility is a Heart Condition that positively affects how The Most High God deals with you
- Meekness is not weakness, but an outward expression
Humility is a heart condition that positively affects how the Most High God deals with you
- Because your heart was tender and you humbled yourself… before Me, tore your clothes and wept before Me, I truly have heard you,” declares the Lord – 2 Chronicles 34:27
You see plainly here the tie between being humble and God hearing you. But permit me to underscore something – the Lord is addressing Josiah who at the time is 26 years old. He doesn’t just slam a prayer over his shoulder – but tears his clothes and weeps. A humble heart grieves for the former unrighteous acts it committed. You can’t just say “I’M sorry” on Sunday and go back at it full force on Monday. You have got to be real – face yourself and turn away from the evil of prideful living.
- Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you – James 4:10
You have to place yourself directly in front of God – turn away from the crud you got all over yourself and come before God. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you. It says the Presence. Humility is the practice of shunning those things you treasure in exchange for the One who treasured you. You must come before the Lord – Swallow your Pride and come back – stand in His Presence. And again…
- My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land – 2 Chronicles 7:14
But so often you and I want all of it – but we hold back our hearts…
- You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord – Jeremiah 29:13-14
Meekness is not weakness, but an outward expression
- Slander no one, be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone – Titus 3:2
These are the hallmarks of meekness – does this describe you? Do you have people you can’t stand? Are you holding a grudge against anyone? Do you need to make restitution, to ask forgiveness; to reconcile with someone. Meekness does all that – it is peaceful, considerate and gentle. Let’s not forget our example of humility and meekness – Jesus:
- 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 – Matthew 11:29
You and I figure we find rest and relaxation amid the hubbub we call recreation – or TGIF. That’s a line of chicken doo-doo. Don’t you believe it. The only rest for you and I – is to DO those things which make our hearts gentle and humble again – then we will find rest. Note since the verse says we will find rest – means real rest is otherwise hidden from you. That what you have today is the opposite of rest – even if you think you got all your bases covered. If you started reading here with a chip on your shoulder; – Living with pride – that pride will become your master and you Have become prides “itch” You will not find rest – you will not.
- Be completely humble and gentle;be patient, bearing with one another in love – Ephesians 4:2
How much humble? How much Meek? – COMPLETELY. Does that describe your effort towards others? Then best watch out for Pride! Sin crouches at the door; and its desire is for you to live with Pride; to ignore others; to bring discredit to the Name of the Most High God. The time is now to bring the Holy Spirit to bear in learning more about humility and meekness – to memorize Bible verses; to pray and confess to others your struggles with pride. I am always available to you – simply hit the Contact Us button on our menu and I will personally respond. May the Lord Bless You as You Go.