I posted earlier on sins against the community of believers. But how do we get away from those?
A thorny foot…
Paul had the same problem. But if you notice, it wasn’t him that prevented his pride. Look at 2 Corinthians 12:7-10-
So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Paul could have boasted in the anything! He was well learned, a great Pharisee, everything! But God kept Him from it. That would be the first step- ask God to give you a thorn… something that prevents you from boasting.
Our Sin, Savior, and Fellowship
It is easy to say that we are all totally depraved. Some even say it happily while leading others to Christ. But happiness should not be the first emotion that we feel over this fact. We should be humbled- we must remember that we are sinful, and not just that, but bad people. Once we remember that, what ground do we have in boasting? As part of this sin, we need a savior- thus it is by His work we are saved (my grace is sufficient for you…). We are then saved unto a community- which is the proof that we can’t do anything on our own. Upon realizing you still need help, the community can be there to guide you in the Word.
Besides the God and His Word, I am indebted to a few people for helping me realize things about myself that I have recently posted.
First is Pastor Mark Gedicks of Windham Baptist Church (and their blog). I took a class of his, and he helped us all realize that behind every sin issue there is a greater heart issue. He truly has a great Gospel focus in his ministry, and has been (and will be) used by God in great things to come. (Thanks Mark!) As well as Josh Otte (blog) for showing me Cross Centered life, and Matt Dyer (blog) who showed me Sex is not the Problem.
Then there are some great books that I have read that opened my eyes to the selfish pride of our consumerist America (and the state of the Church) and my own heart.
On the Church:
Vintage Church: Timeless Truths and Timely Methods (Re:Lit: Vintage Jesus)
by Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears
Total Church: A Radical Reshaping around Gospel and Community (Re:Lit)
by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis
On my own heart:
Humility: True Greatness
by C.J. Mahaney
Unfashionable: Making a Difference in the World by Being Different
by Tulian Tchividjian
Please use all of these to help in battling your pride- here’s a quick summary of some good steps against pride:
- Ask God for a thorn
- Realize the gravity of your sin
- Realize the holiness of God and the greatness of Jesus’ gift on the cross
- Realize the power of the Spirit in the body of the Church
- Recognize your dependence on the Church.